2.24 Breaks In The Chain Of Title


In General

The breaks in a chain of title can be classified as follows:

  • Apparent breaks

  • Real breaks


Apparent Breaks

Apparent breaks are not actually breaks in the chain of title. They are cases or situations in which certain necessary information has not been filed for record. Once this information is made part of the land records, the chain of title is completed.

Among the most common apparent breaks, are:

  • Unrecorded Instruments

    These are validly executed and acknowledged instruments that have not been filed for record.

    This apparent break can be eliminated by filing these instruments of record.

  • Matters of Probate

    Lack of Proceedings

    In the absence of probate proceedings, this apparent break can be eliminated by the filing for record of a satisfactorily and properly executed affidavit of heirship stating the necessary heirship information. Probating a will as a muniment of title, which can be done four years after the death of decedent ,will work to eliminate a break in the chain of title.

    Probate Proceedings in Different Jurisdiction

    Ancillary proceedings under Estates Code §501 are generally required. If you have other circumstances call a Texas Underwriter.

  • Matters of Corporation

    The recordation of proper certificates of merger, acquisition, or change of value can eliminate the apparent break.

  • Divorce Proceedings in Different Jurisdictions

    The recordation of proper transcripts of the divorce proceedings can eliminate the apparent break.

  • Proof of Death

    The recordation of a death certificate or a proper affidavit can eliminate the apparent break. Under privacy statutes it may be difficult to obtain a death certificate except by a family member


Real Breaks

Sometimes there are actual breaks in the chain of title. These situations cannot be cured by adding certain additional information to the records. These situations relate to parties who claim and hold certain rights, title or interest in the property which are adverse to those being claimed by the present record owners.

These real breaks can be corrected by the elimination of the rights and interests of these claimants through one of the following methods:

  • Review Bulletin TX 000065 regarding length of title search to see if you need to address the issue.

  • The execution and filing for record of a proper quitclaim deed.

  • The filing and completion of a quiet title action or a trespass to try title action with a certified copy of the final judgment or decree filed for record.

  • The recording of an affidavit of adverse possession for 3, 5, 10, or 25 years depending on the facts. Please discuss with a Texas Underwriter