Stranger to title?

Can someone explain to me what exactly stranger to title is and how they come about determining this? Also, what is the best way to prove otherwise?

A stranger to title is just a term that indicates that the person referred to as the stranger doesn’t own title in the land/minerals, etc. For example, in a tract where A, B & C all own mineral interests, then out of the blue, S comes along and executes a deed or oil and gas lease or records something to indicate that S is claiming an interest, then S is a stranger to title, because it is not apparent how S owns anything.

How do you prove otherwise? One would have to prove that they do own an interest somehow. For example, in my scenario above, if S could show that he/she was an heir of A, for example, then he/she is not a stranger. But if S cannot show that they own any interest, then S would be considered to be a stranger to title.

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This could be a simple typo in a legal description filed by the stranger or could be more nefarious such as identity or inheritance theft attempt. A few title examiners may disregard a clear stranger, but most will want this resolved. If this remains an issue a quiet title or other legal proceeding may be required.

This post is not legal, tax or investment advice. Reading or responding to this post does not create an attorney/client relationship.

Thank you for the information. I am working on this now. I think it may be held by an older lease.

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