Title Defects | What Are Recording Errors?

To kick off our series on title defects, we thought we’d start with recording errors — one of the most common types of title problems that we see. Recording errors are clerical mistakes or omissions on deed-related documents that have been filed in public records. While human error is a part of life, these title concerns can have a significant impact on your ownership rights surrounding your property unless they’re resolved.

What is a deed?

Before elaborating further on recording errors, we should explain what a deed actually is. A deed is an important legal document that spells out who maintains title (ownership) rights regarding the utilization of and access to a real estate parcel. When a property is conveyed from one party to the next, such as during a real estate transaction, the deed serves as legal proof of these ownership rights. 

What types of recording errors might occur?

Errors in public records can be varied and can really impact any aspect of the deed-transfer process. Some of the most common recording mistakes we see include:

-Spelling errors (such as in names or street addresses)

-Incomplete or incorrect legal description of the property

-Missing information (such as a spouse’s name)

-Missing signatures

-Improper filing of the documents

-Incorrect marital status

How are recording errors corrected?

Recording errors are generally detected when a title agent or attorney performs a title search on a property during the real estate settlement process. If this type of title defect is identified, steps may be taken to correct the error, which might include filing a new deed (a warranty deed or quitclaim deed), filing a corrective deed or corrective affidavit, or completing and submitting other legal documents to have the omission or error fixed. The form of documentation required will depend upon the type of error, the state in which the property is located, and other considerations. In certain cases, no action may be required to correct a recording error. A title agent or attorney can help to identify what approach should be taken for recording error resolution.

If you have questions about recording errors or other title defects, please contact the professionals at Linear Title & Escrow in Virginia Beach, VA.


Understanding Title Defects

Over the next few months, we’ll be breaking down some of the most common title defects, providing insight into the types of issues that can arise and how these conditions may be resolved. Before we dive into our upcoming series, let’s take a moment to review the basics of title defects.

What are title defects?

Title defects are irregularities in the ownership history of a piece of real estate that may prevent the free, clear, and proper transfer or sale of a property to another party.

Why should I be concerned with title defects?

Title defects can interfere with your ability to take full and proper ownership of a property. If title defects are discovered after closing (also referred to as settlement), another party may have some ownership stake in your property.

What does “clouds on title” mean?

Clouds on title is another term referencing discrepancies associated with the chain of ownership on a given property.

How are title defects identified?

In most cases, title defects are identified through a title search. There are instances, however, when evidence of a title defect will arise after settlement has occurred.  

What is a title search?

A title search is a thorough investigation of the ownership history of a property. It is accomplished by reviewing legal documents recorded with the clerk of courts in the municipality in which the property is located.

Who conducts a title search?

Title searches are generally performed by a title agent or an attorney.

What happens when a title defect is found?

When a title defect is discovered during a title search, the title agent or attorney will take steps to have it resolved. The method of resolution, however, will vary according to the type of title defect that has been identified. While some title defects, like recording errors, are resolved by submitting corrective documentation, others may involve court proceedings and additional processes.

How can I protect my property against title defects?

Owner’s title insurance is a type of indemnity insurance policy that can help to protect home buyers against financial loss should another party successfully claim an ownership stake in their property. 

 For more on title defects, contact the team at Linear Title & Escrow today!