A deed is a written legal document which transfers the ownership of real property from one individual to another. A written physical deed document typically describes the exact location of the piece of real property.

A deed will also include the names of the former owner or owners of the property as well as the names of the new owner or owners of the property. There are several different types of deeds which may be used to transfer ownership in real property from one individual to another.

It is important to note that any deed must be signed by the individual who is transferring the real property to a new owner. In addition, the individual’s signature is required to be notarized in order to prove that the transfer of ownership is, in fact, valid.

A deed of title, also referred to as a title deed, is a legal document which transfers the title of a piece of real property from one individual to another. Full ownership in that piece of real property is given to the new owner.

In most cases, this type of transfer would occur in a traditional real estate sale. However, a title can be transferred using other methods. For example, another method would include when an individual gifts a piece of property to another individual.

In the majority of situations, a deed of title is classified as a general warranty deed. With this type of deed, the current owner guarantees that they hold a clear title to the piece of real property.

This means that the current owner not only guarantees that they received a clear title from the owner of the property before them, but also that there are not any other individuals who retain any interest in the real property.

General warranty deeds are used for most real estate deed transfers because they provide the greatest amount of protections of any of the different types of deeds which may be used. In some states, a general warranty deed may be referred to as a grant deed.

It is important to note that a deed of title is not the same as a deed of trust. A deed of trust is a legal instrument which grants a lender or a mortgage lender a lien on a piece of real property if a debt is owed.

What is a Wild Deed?

A wild deed is a deed which was improperly recorded. Due to this improper recording, the deed is not connected to the chain of title or indexed.

If this occurs, the wild deed may be extremely difficult to discover using a title search. In some cases, a wild deed may not be discovered at all.

What is a Title Search?

A property title search, also called a title search, is a process which involves reviewing files from a county records department to find a particular property title’s ownership history. A title search is often conducted by a commercial agent, which may include:

  • A title company;
  • A real estate attorney; or
  • An escrow officer.

During a title search, a commercial agent may examine documents, including:

  • Deeds;
  • Court records;
  • Name indexes;
  • Property indexes; and
  • Various other kinds of real estate documents.

A title search is performed to confirm that a seller is the actual legal owner of the real property which is being sold. Title searches help to ensure that the title is not clouded by a defect which may reduce the value of the property or would subject the purchaser to some type of legal liability.

Examples of issues which may cause a title defect, or cloud a title, may include:

  • If the property has an unreleased lien or a mortgage lien attached to it;
  • If there are any pending probate issues regarding the property;
  • When a home is part of a foreclosure action;
  • If the title to the property is fraudulent or forged;
  • When there is a defect or an error in the chain of title; and
  • Various other documents which may make the property title questionable.

Additionally, if the buyer has title insurance, the commercial agent conducting the search will be required to determine whether the title insurance company will insure the title as a part of the search process.

What Happens if I Discover a Wild Deed on my Property?

If an individual discovers a wild deed on their property, it will most likely not affect their ownership of the property. Because wild deeds offer no notice to subsequent good faith purchasers, the majority of states will disregard it under the Recording Acts.

It is important to note, however, that some states may recognize the wild deed as a legitimate deed. Especially in cases where an individual was aware of the wild deed prior to purchasing the property.

What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance provides protection for a buyer of real property and the mortgage lender against any defects or problems with a title when an individual is purchasing real property. There are two main types of title insurance policies that individuals typically purchase.

The first type of title insurance is an owner’s policy which protects the new owner of the real property. The second type of title insurance is the lender’s policy, which protects the lender providing funding for the real property.

The purpose of purchasing title insurance is to provide protection to both the purchaser and the lender against potential losses or liabilities if there has been a mistake or an issue in the documentation or with the process of the title transfer of the property. In most real estate transactions, obtaining title insurance is a standard step in the purchase process.

There are several different options for title insurance which may be available to protect a purchaser and a lender from litigation if the seller does not have free and clear ownership of the real property. Most lenders require that a buyer obtain title insurance.

A buyer only pays for title insurance one time. After that, the title insurance remains in effect until the owner sells or refinances the property.

Does Title Insurance Protect Me from Wild Deeds?

Title insurance may or may not protect a buyer from a wild deed. In many situations, an individual will not be able to recover title insurance benefits if a wild deed exists.

This may be the case in situations where the wild deed is impossible to discover through a search of public records. It is important to note, however, that if a wild deed could or should have been discovered during the title search, it may be covered by title insurance.

Do I Need a Lawyer if I Discover a Wild Deed?

It is essential to have the assistance of a property attorney for any issues you may have with a wild deed. Your attorney will be able to advise you of the implications of the wild deed in your state.

Your attorney will help ensure that your property rights are protected. This may be accomplished by having the wild deed removed or by assisting you with bringing an action against your title insurer if you are in a state which recognizes the wild deed as legitimate.