The breaks in a chain of title can be classified as follows:
- Apparent breaks
- Real breaks
Apparent Breaks In Chain Of Title
Apparent breaks are not actually breaks in the chain of title. They are cases or situations in which certain necessary information, reflecting actual facts, have not been filed for record. Once this information is made part of the land records, the break disappears.
Among the most common apparent breaks, we can cite:
- Unrecorded Instruments
These are validly executed and acknowledged instruments that have not been filed for record.
This apparent break can be eliminated by filing these instruments of record.
- Matters of Probate
- Lack of Proceedings
In the absence of probate proceedings, and after the expiration of the allowed statutory period of time for commencement, this apparent break can be eliminated by the filing for record of a satisfactorily and properly executed affidavit of heirship stating the necessary heirship information.
- Probate Proceedings in Different Jurisdiction
The recordation of proper transcripts of probate proceedings can eliminate the apparent break.
- Lack of Proceedings
- Matters of Corporation
The recordation of proper certificates of merger, acquisition, or change of value can eliminate the apparent break.
- Divorce Proceedings in Different Jurisdictions
The recordation of proper transcripts of the divorce proceedings can eliminate the apparent break.
- Proof of Death
The recordation of a death certificate or a proper affidavit can eliminate the apparent break.
Real Breaks In Chain Of Title
Conversely, real breaks are actual breaks in the chain of title. These situations cannot be cured by adding certain additional information to the records. These situations relate to parties who claim and hold certain rights, title or interest in the property which are adverse to those being claimed by the present record owners.
These real breaks can be corrected by the elimination of the rights and interests of these claimants through one of the following methods:
- The execution and filing for record of a proper quitclaim deed.
- The filing and completion of a quiet title action or a trespass to try title
action with a certified copy of the final judgment or decree filed for record.
- The provisions of the state's marketable title act, if any.
- In some jurisdictions, by recording an affidavit of adverse possession relative to the uninterrupted period of adverse possession established by state law.