Deed Duel

An overly-complicated series of transactions led to a dispute over who had valid title to a residential property at 2701 Wickham Court in Plano. The case turned on which of two competing deeds — one filed by the corporation of Quang Dangtran and the second filed by another company that took its deed from his ex-wife, Tuyet Anh Le — was effective. The Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part. The Court agreed with the trial court’s summary judgment ruling that Dangtran’s deed was not properly acknowledged because it failed to identify the state where the corporate entity was incorporated (see Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code 121.008(b)(4)). However, the Court also held that there was a genuine issue of material fact whether the second claimant took the deed from Le with notice of her ex-husband’s claim, which would negate her transferee’s status as a bona fide purchaser. Because Dangtran was in unequivocal possession of the property at the time of the second transaction, and because Dangtran was not a member of Le’s family at that time, summary judgment could not be sustained on the second claimant’s bona fide purchaser defense.

Whoa USA, Inc. v. Regan Props., LLC, No.05-13-01412-CV

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