How do you know if your deed is valid? Determining whether your deed is void or voidable is a must at the time of the conveyance of the property. A void deed would not convey any rights to ownership and would not have any legal implications or obligations. If a deed is voidable, it will remain enforceable until the party with the right to void the contract acts upon it.
The validity of the deeds is brought into question when deeds are revealed to be fraudulently obtained or forged. Not all fraudulent deeds are disregarded, as deed fraud does not result in an automatic nullification. Texas law states a clear distinction between forged deeds and fraudulent deeds. Forged deeds are declared as void, passes no title, and are treated as null. A fraudulent deed is voidable and will be passable until set aside or struck down by the Court.
How can you tell if it is deed fraud? Deed fraud occurs when the person signing the deed has attempted to lay a claim on a property based on forged signatures, undue influence, or flawed deeds. It will not be considered forgery when the person signs his own name.
Common examples of deed fraud include:
- A claim to sell or convey property that the grantor does not own.
- A claim to sell or convey property for which the grantor lacks sufficient authority to transfer (such as exceeding the authority under a power of attorney/appointment as personal representative of a deceased person
- A claim to lease property that that belongs to another.
Forgery occurs when the person executes the document under the pretense of another person. Forgery is defined by the Texas Penal Code as:
To alter, make, complete, execute, or authenticate any writing so that it purports:
- to be the act of another who did not authorize that act;
- to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case; or
- to be a copy of an original when no such original existed
The conveyance of property is a complicated process. It is crucial to ensure that your deed is valid. If you believe that you are dealing with deed forgery or fraudulence, it may be in your best interest to get in touch with a board-certified real estate attorney. Our number is 713-572-4900.