Gaming the system a no-win in title mix-up

REThink Real Estate

Q: The title company made a mistake and conveyed three additional land lots to us at closing. Six months later, the title company now wants us to reconvey the lots back. Shouldn’t the title company pay the seller for his loss? It was (the company’s) mistake — doesn’t the title insurance cover its mistakes? The seller wants out of those lots anyway; he is planning to put them on the market for sale. Could I be sued by the title company for not fixing its mistake? –Anonymous, Houston, Texas

A: There are several levels of answers to your question and dilemma, and I’ll take a stab at all of them. Fortunately, they all point in the same direction, indicating that your best bet, legally, financially, contractually and ethically is to sign the correction documents and reconvey the lots to the seller, with no further ado.

This situation clearly arose from a clerical error, due to no fault of either yours or the seller’s. I’m assuming there was a purchase and sale agreement that you both signed, indicating the property that you agreed to buy for a certain price, also known as valuable consideration.