Two Texas Title Issues: Abandoned Railroad, Unnamed Defendants in Tax Sales

The U.S. purchased property via an Easement Deed to construct a railroad spur but abandoned it and filed a Release of Easement. Is it true that the land would then become property of the surrounding landowners?

Secondly, I have noticed that Tax Suits name Defendants then note "......and any and all persons, including adverse claimants, owning or having any legal or equitable interest in or lien upon the property". So, does a winning bidder at a Tax Sale acquire all title to the land regardless of whether an owner was omitted (as Defendant) from the Suit? I know that title attorneys want you to get Deeds from omitted owners but is the reason only to clear clouds on title? I'm asking because I won 10 acres at an auction and there was a 1/2 undivided interest owner who was not named in the Suit. There is a well on the property. In order to get paid on all 10 acres, do I have to get a Deed from the owner who wasn't named in the Suit?

I sincerely appreciate your help. You guys are a valuable resource.

In Texas an owner of properties that have been sold in a "tax sale" by the state have about 3 year's to reclaim the property. They have to pay the person who bought it about 18% interest for the time that they bought it.

Thanks. I believe former owners can redeem by paying 125% within first year and 150% if in the second year. Only properties that can be redeemed in second year are ag exempt, homestead, and mineral properties. My question involves owners who were not named as Defendants. If I win the property, would I acquire their title if the tax suit reads as indicated above? Would be great to hear from an attorney.

Just found out that the Judgment adds the following language: "who were duly served with process by means of Citation by Posting" so that answers question #2. All I need to figure out is question #1 above.

You do not automatically get fee simple (100%) title to the Mineral Estate of a property acquired at Tax Sale. If there was a mineral severance prior to the Tax Sale, the severed interest does not become yours. This is DIFFERENT from a bank foreclosure, in which case the severed mineral interest WOULD become yours IF...IF...IF (1) the minerals WERE part of the Deed of Trust foreclosed upon and (2) the lending institution did NOT issue a Partial Release of Lien to exclude the severed mineral interest from the obligations of the Deed of Trust.

Good stuff. Thank you.

Tax sale depends on what is being sold in delinquency. I'm speaking for Texas law.

If the surface is delinquent, and the minerals have separate property tax accounts (and are not delinquent) only the surface is foreclosed. You may acquire the mineral rights, but the former owner will retain the royalty interest as long as the tax accounts are kept current and until the lease terminates. This is kind of a slippery slope. This is only applicable if the minerals were not severed (other than by a lease)(and the owner never severed the minerals specifically in a deed - even a deed to themselves that separates the surface from the minerals).

If the surface is delinquent, and the minerals are owned by the surface owner (fee simple)(minerals are not producing and so no property tax accounts exist or are active) the fee simple interest (including minerals) is sold.

If the surface is delinquent, and the minerals are severed to a different owner (regardless if the minerals are taxed or not taxed) only the surface is being sold.

The case you might want to read is Alvin v. Zindle.

Thanks Kitchen. In my case, the surface went to tax sale. The mineral tax account was also delinquent. After I won the auction, I paid off the delinquent taxes on the royalty. I then notified the oil co and the tax office. Both put it in my name and I began receiving royalty checks. This past week, I bought out the undivided interest owner who was not named in the tax suit. The oil co gave me another division order so now I own the full 10 mineral / royalty acres.

Sir, I really appreciate your feedback. You are a big help. I am going to read up on Alvin v. Zindle.