The Quitclaim Deed and Title of Ownership in Texas: A Case Study

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The key point of contention in this scenario is the quitclaim deed with which Julio Gazpacho attempted to convey ownership of the easement to his neighbors, Ruben and Regina Gomez, because contrary to popular public belief, quitclaim deeds have at best a tenuous legal status within the state of Texas. In this case, rather than utilize a proper warranty deed to legally transfer title of ownership to the easement, Mr. Gazpacho elected to use a quitclaim deed that Texan legal precedent has universally deemed to be invalid. According to the landmark decision made in Diversified, Inc. v. Hall, "a quitclaim deed conveys any title, interest, or claim of the grantor in the real property, but it does not profess that the title is valid nor does it contain any warranty or covenants of title. Thus, a quitclaim deed does not establish title in the person holding the deed, but merely passes whatever interest the grantor has in the property"Â Diversified, Inc. v. Hall, 23 S.W.3d 403 (Tex. App.- Houston [1st Dist.] 2000, pet. denied). The fact that the only claim to title on the easement held by Ruben and Regina Gomez is made through the fundamentally flawed legal device of the quitclaim deed is crucial to properly deciding this case. Whether or not Mr. Gazpacho had prior knowledge as to the nonbinding nature of quitclaim deeds in Texas, or simply signed the document in good faith to assist his neighbors with their highway access issues, is actually irrelevant to the current dispute

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