What is an Abstract of Judgment?

            An Abstract of Judgment is a short statement of the result of a lawsuit that is filed in the Real Property Records to give notice to the public that an individual or entity owes money to another as a result of the lawsuit.  The Abstract of Judgment will list the cause number for the lawsuit, the names of the parties to the lawsuit, the creditor (winning party) and debtor (losing party) and amount that is owed to the creditor by the debtor.  Abstracts of Judgment attach, or become liens against, any non-homestead property that is owned by the debtor and must be paid at the time the non-homestead property is sold or conveyed.  The creditor holding an Abstract of Judgment can request that the court allow the Judgment to be Executed, a process by which the property is sold at an auction to the highest bidder.  Execution of a Judgment will divest the debtor, and any subsequent owners, of title to the property – subject to any liens that predate the Abstract of Judgment.

If you would like to use a knowledgeable title company conveniently located in the Heights, please give us a call.

Fidelity National Title, 1512 Heights Blvd., Houston, TX 77008 (713) 529-8800.

Is My Title Policy Transferrable?

Owner’s title policies are not transferrable when you sell your property. A title policy is issued based on the status of title to property as of a particular date. When an owner purchases property and receives a title policy, the policy insures that the owner is the owner, subject to any mortgage the owner may have taken to purchase the property and any other matters (deed restrictions, easements, etc.) that may affect title to the property.

During the ownership of the property things may change.   The mortgage may be refinanced or paid off, a homeowner’s association may be established, abolished or deed restrictions may be amended. The owner may grant an easement across the property, or an easement may be abandoned. Additional structures may be added to the property or existing structures may be increased in size. Because of these potential changes, title insurance companies must research the status of title even after a short period of ownership.

If you would like to use a knowledgeable title company conveniently located in the Heights, please give us a call.

Fidelity National Title, 1512 Heights Blvd., Houston, TX 77008 (713) 529-8800.

 

Clouds on Title

A “cloud on title” is any matter that prevents the owner from having or conveying fee ownership of a piece of real property.  Some matters are relatively common and can easily be taken care of by a payment made at or before closing.  Other matters can be much more complicated, such as a missing deed in the chain of title or a random conveyance by a person who does not otherwise appear in the chain of title.  Title insurance is a great way to protect yourself against clouds on title.

Contracts for Deed

Contracts for Deed, which are also called Executory Contracts, involve a person contracting for the right to receive title to property upon the completion of payments to the owner of the property.  Executory Contracts are specifically covered by statute (Texas Property Code 5.061 et seq) and there are a number of rules that must be followed when a real property transaction is handled by Executory Contract.  Because Executory Contracts do not involve the actual conveyance of title, title insurance is not available at the time an Executory Contract is executed.  Title insurance is available at the time the conveyance of title is finalized, such as when the final payment requirements under the Executory Contract are completed.