Welcome to the 6th edition of MTM. Your comments and feedback are always welcome!
We have an apology to our players. Andy’s mea culpa can be found in the answer to question #4 of last month’s quiz. In the meantime, as with last month’s quiz, we hope that MTM affords you a few quiet minutes away from the stresses of dealing with all that is swirling around out there. From the VATC team to you, please know that we appreciate all that you continually do to serve the needs of your clients. Your ability to navigate challenges is inspiring. We salute your hard work. Be safe, be well and good luck on this month’s quiz.
- There are no rules. You may use research, statutes, cases, Title Standards, etc.
- Firm/Team entries are welcome – just give it a name!
- Submit your answers from the web form on this page.
- We will post the answers in the Honor Roll with the next blog.
- Feel free to share this with friends and colleagues
This quiz is closed – see the answers in bold below. To view May’s winners please visit our Honor Roll page.
- Buyer will acquire title by deed from the Estate of Serena Seller. The title search did not reveal the existence of any recorded liens. You conclude:
- Per Title Standard 24.1, the property could be subject to a Federal Special Estate Tax lien. [“C” is incorrect because a Vermont Estate Tax lien is not effective until recorded].
- The property is absolutely free and clear of any lien.
- Per Title Standard 27.1, the property could be subject to a Vermont Estate Tax Lien.
- Both a and c.
- Title search reveals a 2002 warranty deed executed by an agent operating under a POA for the seller. There is no recorded POA. Seller is deceased. You conclude:
- Lack of a POA is not a problem per the 15-year statute of limitations in 27 VSA 348 (a).
- Lack of a POA is not problem based on adverse possession.
- Lack of a POA is a marketable title issue which, assuming you can find one, can be cured by recording a copy of the POA. [Yes, we believe this an acceptable practice and one which resolves the title problem]
- Lack of a POA is a marketable title issue which can only be cured by probating the seller’s estate and obtaining a new deed.
- Title search reveals a mortgage discharge for a residential property recorded on April 30, 2017 signed by a loan servicer reciting authority of the loan servicer to act on behalf of the mortgagee pursuant to POA. There is no recorded POA. You conclude:
- This is a marketable title defect and requires the recording of a new discharge.
- This is a marketable title defect and requires the recording of the POA.
- This is not a marketable title defect per 27 VSA 348(d).
- Either a or b above.
- Buyers visit a property and observe what appears to be an old spring. There is a very faint foot path leading off the property. The title search does not reveal the existence of a recorded deed which either grants or reserves rights in the spring. Buyer will take title:
- Free and clear of the rights of others because they are bona fide purchasers without actual notice of the rights of others and there is no recorded grant or reservation.
- Free and clear of the rights of others if the sellers warrant that they put the neighbor on notice that use of the spring was by license only and that sellers revoked the license prior to conveyance.
- Subject to the possible rights of others under the theory of constructive trust as discussed in Savage v. Walker, 185 VT 603 (2009).
- Subject to the possible rights of others based on inquiry notice as discussed in Richart v. Jackson, 171 VT 94 (2000).
- Title search reveals that Jack Riddler and Jill Riddler acquired title in 1998. The deed is silent as to the nature of the tenancy or the relationship, if any, between the parties. In 2009, by deed which recites the death of Jack Riddler, Jill Riddler conveyed title to the current seller. You conclude that:
- Per 27 VSA 2(a) title is defective because Jack and Jill Riddler acquired title in 1998 as tenants in common, by default.
- Per Title Standard 14.1, title is not defective if Jack’s recorded death certificate recites that he was married to Jill. [Per comment 2, failure to state marital relationship does not impair marketability if such relationship can be established].
- Per Title Standard 13.1, any title defect will be cured if seller provides a deed signed by all of Jack’s heirs.
- Per 27 VSA 2(a) title is not defective because Jack and Jill Riddle acquired title as joint tenants with right of survivorship and Jill was free to convey as the surviving tenant.