3.73 Correction of Instruments

Correction of Instruments  SB 1496: Effective date: September 1, 2011 

This bill was necessary to correct a recent Texas Supreme Court decision about what types of errors can be corrected after a document has been recorded and the effectiveness of such correction instruments.  The bill addresses corrections of legal descriptions and other non-material issues by adding new sections to the Property Code (Sections 5.027, 5.028, 5.029, 5.030, and 5.031)  

  • A correction instrument can correct an incorrect or ambiguous legal description as long as the correction instrument does not attempt to add new property that was not originally conveyed.  In other words, you can file a document that corrects a metes and bounds description but not one that adds an omitted tract.  A new but not corrected instrument is required to add property.
     
  • Non material Changes:
      
  • A person who has personal knowledge of facts relevant to the correction of a recorded original instrument of conveyance may execute a correction instrument to make a nonmaterial change that results from a clerical error, including a correction of an inaccurate or incorrect element in a legal description, such as a distance, angle, direction, bearing or chord, a lot, block, unit, building designation or section number, an appurtenant easement, a township name or number, a municipality, county, or state name, a range number or meridian, a certified survey map number, or a subdivision or condominium name; or 

(2) an addition, correction, or clarification of: 

(A) a party's name, including the spelling of a name, a first or middle name or initial, a suffix, an alternate name by which a party is known, or a description of an entity as a corporation, company, or other type of organization; 

(B) a party's marital status; 

(C) the date on which the conveyance was executed; 

(D) the recording data for an instrument referenced in the correction instrument; or 

(E) a fact relating to the acknowledgment or authentication.  If the correction document isn’t signed by the parties to the document, then the party signing the document must provide a copy of the corrected document to the parties by first class mail or other reasonable method. 

Material Changes: 

The parties to a transaction can make material changes by executing a correction document that adds: 

(A) a buyer's disclaimer of an interest in the real property that is the subject of the original instrument of conveyance; 

(B) a mortgagee's consent or subordination to a recorded document executed by the mortgagee or an heir, successor, or assign of the mortgagee; or 

(C) land to a conveyance that correctly conveys other land; 

(2) removes land from a conveyance that correctly conveys other land; or 

(3) accurately identifies a lot or unit number or letter of property owned by the grantor that was inaccurately identified as another lot or unit number or letter of property owned by the grantor in the recorded original instrument of conveyance. 

Sec. 5.030.  CORRECTION INSTRUMENT:  EFFECT.  Provides: 

(a) A correction instrument that complies with Section 5.028 or 5.029 is: 

(1) effective as of the effective date of the recorded original instrument of conveyance; 

(2) prima facie evidence of the facts stated in the correction instrument; 

(3) presumed to be true; 

(4) subject to rebuttal; and 

(5) notice to a subsequent buyer of the facts stated in the correction instrument. 

(b)  A bona fide purchaser of property that is subject to a correction instrument may rely on the instrument against any person making an adverse or inconsistent claim. 

What you should do:  Examiners and closers should both become familiar with this law.  Title company personnel must know which errors are material and which are not.  Title company personnel can, but do not have to, execute corrections for non-material errors provided that they send the required notice to the parties. Parties may make non-material changes. Only the parties can make material changes.