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Common Real Estate Title Problems

 Posted on December 08, 2023 in Real Estate Law

TX real estate lawyerWhen buying or selling property in Texas, title issues can complicate closing. These commonly stem from unclear ownership interests, liens, and other issues impacting deed rights. If title defects occur, real estate transactions can be delayed for legal corrections that ultimately fall upon buyers and sellers to resolve. A Texas real estate attorney can help you with real estate issues, like title conflicts.


Various loans and debts tied to the property can cause problematic liens on the title. Most commonly:

Mortgage Liens

If the seller has not paid off mortgages as expected or if undisclosed loans emerge, buyers do not receive full ownership rights. This requires further negotiating to determine who is responsible for resolving outstanding debts attached to the deed. Buyers may need to take over payments, or the title company may need to pay off the loans using sale proceeds before transferring deed rights.

Tax Liens

Overdue property taxes can lead local municipalities to claim lien rights to secure repayment—creating clouded title issues. Buyers could become liable for these debts left unpaid by current or previous owners. Tax liens can be complex to resolve if disputes arise over precisely which back taxes are owed, who failed to make past payments, and what the correct amount due should be.

Contesting Ownership Claims

Occasionally ownership disputes between family members or partners with certain deed rights lead to legal “clouds” on property titles. These contesting claims must be resolved through estate proceedings or civil lawsuits before buyers can safely proceed with closing. All parties may need to wait months or even years in some cases before contested titles make their way through court judgments and the initial owner rights can be fully confirmed or not.

Missing Heirs

When property owners die without a will, all legal heirs must be “found” and confirmed before title transfers to beneficiaries or buyers. If heirship affidavit filings are incomplete, there is no definitive proof of full rights transfer. Even one missing signature from an unnotified heir can put sales at risk if that heir later emerges with a legitimate claim against the estate and property sale or transfer.

Defective Deeds

Erroneous property descriptions, incorrect owner names, missing signatures, and other deed flaws can render titles incomplete. For example, if the seller’s name on closing documents does not fully match the current recorded deed, it delays the legality of the sale.

These issues can happen despite earnest due diligence. But if uncovered before closing, there may be time to clear the title properly through legal and financial resolutions agreeable to all parties. This is where keeping your real estate attorney informed through every step proves essential. 

Contact a Hood County, TX Real Estate Lawyer

Going through real estate hurdles can be challenging at times. However, when you have a Hill County, TX real estate attorney on your side, you can have peace knowing you are making the right moves. Call Cain & Kiel Law at 817-645-1717 to get started with your case.

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