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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16288
Experience:  13 years experience in RE Law, including LL/Tenant, contractor disputes, comm'l prop. issues
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I purchased a small tract of land in County, Tx. I paid it

Customer Question

I purchased a small tract of land in Harris County, Tx. I paid it off over a decade ago. They were supposed to file the deed in my name but did not. The owner of the company has died and the company no longer exists. I am filing a declaratory judgment in Harris county civil court to have the deed put in my Name. What law should I use as guideline to include in my original petition?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello there -

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Do you have any documents in writing that show that you actually purchased the tract of land and that they accepted payments from you towards the purchase of this land? If so, what documentation do you have to prove that the transaction actually took place?

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Do you have any idea whose name is ***** ***** the deed at the Harris County registry of deeds and real estate records?

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MARY

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No I don't Mary. My home here burned to the ground. I lost everything and yes I know who's name is ***** ***** the deed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
actually I do in divorce records.
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello there --

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Generally speaking, for any type of real estate sale or transaction to be valid, it must be in writing and signed by the party who is handing over or selling the land. It is called the Statute of Frauds or Statute Against Frauds in Texas and in all states. If your written documentation does not clearly state that this property was or is to be turned over to you, then you will have difficulties with the courts in trying to get a declaratory judgment that the property belongs to you. However, if the property was supposed to be signed over to you as part of a divorce proceedings, and the obligation to transfer the land is set forth clearly in the divorce agreement documents, you may be able to get some relief by taking the matter into family court on a Motion for Contempt to get the property signed over to you as it should have been in the divorce.

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If you can tell me what is set forth in divorce records and why it was handled in this matter, I may be able to give you some better information to proceed with here. However, if this is just a straightforward real estate transaction which should have been documented in writing at the time the property should have been transferred, then you truly do need to establish that is was turned over to you in a written instrument (even if it was never recorded) to get around the Statute of Frauds law and rules and if you can show such documentation to the court, then the court may very well order that a new deed written out to you be placed in the Harris County registry of deeds.

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MARY

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