Potential Issues with Torrens Property img

Potential Issues with Torrens Property

calender icon 8/14/2023    poster icon  Mark Goodman

When it comes to Torrens property in Minnesota, there are a variety of potential issues. Some of these can be rather surprising. In this article, we’re going to discuss a few such potential issues with Torrens property.

Entitled to Nothing

In a recent situation that we dealt with, the original Torrens legal description was a large parcel with a whole series of exception parcels (e.g. Lot 1, except for the south half of Lot 1, and except for the north half of the north half of Lot 1). As the surveyor and our team worked through the lengthy legal description on the Certificate of Title, we realized that all of the exception parcels eliminated the main parcel so that there was nothing left. In essence, we had a legal description on the Certificate of Title that was comprised of nothing. The owner shown on that Certificate of Title was quite surprised to find out that they had nothing. In the end, we were able to go back through all of the conveyances and find out where the Torrens office went wrong and have the mistake corrected.

Entitled to What?

In another recent situation that we dealt with, we discovered that two different owners had Certificates of Title for the same vacated street. One of those owners was about to sell their property when the other owner objected claiming ownership of part of the parcel to be sold. We were able to examine all of the conveyances prior to the current Certificates of Title and determine which owner was the rightful owner of the vacated street. It turned out both Certificates of Title were wrong! In the end, we were able to have the Torrens office correct the mistakes and the Certificates of Title so that all of the parties were satisfied and the sale transaction closed.

The above two scenarios don’t occur very often, but it does illustrate why having a good title company working for you is so important. Also, these situations show why an Examiner of Titles may require a Registered Land Survey anytime you are subdividing a Torrens parcel. As parcels get divided over and over again, the legal descriptions can become more and more complex and it can become hard to track who has what parcel.