Color of Title

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Color of Title

The appearance of a legally enforceable right of possession or ownership. A written instrument that purports to transfer ownership of property but, due to some defect, does not have that effect. A document purporting to pass title to land, such as a deed that is defective due to a lack of title in the grantor, passes only color of title to the grantee.

It has been held that in order to pass color of title, the instrument appearing to pass title must be in good form, duly executed, and profess to pass good title.

color of title

n. the appearance of having title to personal or real property by some evidence, but in reality there is either no title or a vital defect in the title. One might show a title document to real property, but in reality he/she may have deeded the property to another; a patent to an invention may have passed to the inventor's widow, who sells the rights to one party and then, using the original patent documents, sells the patent to a second party based on this "color of title."

References in periodicals archive ?
They have suggested that Texans can use the obscure federal Color of Title Act, a law meant to resolve confusion over public land that others believed was private, to buy back their land, potentially for a low price.
John Cornyn of Texas are pushing fixes that would require surveys of the entire disputed stretch, expand Color of Title Act provisions and prevent any contested lands from being included in the federal resource management plan.
Finally, particularly in claims of constructive possession, where an occupier with color of title can adversely possess the entire parcel referred to in the title, (12) an adverse possession may neither increase nor decrease regularity:
The Notice Functions of Fencing, Color of Title, and Trademark Registration D.
It would be onerous for the federal government, however, to prevent private encroachments on its vast public domain; perhaps for this reason, the Color of Title Act has a good faith requirement.
About 18 months after the confusion first grabbed national headlines and sparked fiery comments from Texas leaders, some Red River residents are wondering whether they should follow Henderson's lead in reasserting their property rights - by filing a claim under the Color of Title Act, an obscure federal law meant to address these types of issues.
If they don't have color of title, but are just laying claim to abandoned real estate, the statute of limitations runs for 25 years.