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Conflicting Property Descriptions In Deed

By Jackie Halpern Weinstein


Sellers, by deed, conveyed their home to Defendant J, who gave a mortgage to the insured that encumbered the whole of the premises. J defaulted on the mortgage, and the insured commenced a foreclosure action, however, one day prior to the foreclosure sale, the original Sellers brought an order to show cause, which contained a temporary restraining order that stayed the foreclosure sale, claiming that they still owned part of the premises and alleging fraudulent inducement on the part of J.

Specifically, the deed that the Sellers delivered to J in conveying the premises (which are comprised of two Map Lots) included a metes and bounds description that measured the premises as spanning 100.00 feet x 30.00 feet, but the Map Lots referenced as being conveyed in the deed actually span 100.00 feet x 50.00 feet. Furthermore, the deed was only recorded on one of the two Map Lots, and Sellers, therefore, claim that they remain the rightful owners of the other half of the premises.

The client hired Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. to protect the insured’s interest on the whole of the premises.

Result:

After conducting thorough research and investigative work, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. discovered that, dating back to 1946, the metes and bounds descriptions in the deeds varied. Regardless of the metes and bounds description, however, the deed always transferred all title to the whole of the premises as described by the Map Lots. Some deeds were recorded on both Map Lots, and others were recorded on only one.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. drafted complex opposition papers to the Seller’s order to show cause and, in addition to showing the Court that this specific property has a history of recordings on only one Map Lot, supported its opposition with favorable New York State law that has not been before the Courts for evaluation since 1900.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., in citing Appellate Division and Court of Appeals opinions in New York State, potentially for the first time since 1900, argued to the Court that:

1) In the event of a conflict in a deed between a specific metes and bounds description and a reference to a lot as shown on a filed map, in determining the amount of property conveyed in the transfer, the map reference controls.

2) When the amount of land transferred in a deed is in dispute, the deed must be construed according to the intent of the parties and in a light most favorable to the grantee.

3) When a deed makes a specific reference to a map, the map description is to be the boundary of the lot.

4) Where the metes and bounds description in a deed conflicts with a reference to a map, the distances provided in the metes and bounds description must be lengthened or shortened so as to conform to the bounds of the map, which controls.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. successfully convinced the Court that the transfer was not fraudulent and received a written decision from the Court confirming the lack of fraud.

 

Jackie Halpern represented the Title Insurance company in this action in New York Supreme Court, Queens County.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.

NEW YORK REAL ESTATE ATTORNEYS