If a warranty deed or another instrument containing covenants of warranty similar to a warranty deed is a wild instrument and the grantor of such wild instrument subsequently acquires title to the property purported to be conveyed by the wild instrument, then the wild instrument shall be effective to convey the title described in the wild instrument to the grantee named in the wild instrument.
Comment 1. Under the doctrine of “After Acquired Title” (also known as the “Doctrine of Estoppel by Deed”), if “A” who has no title to Blackacre conveys Blackacre to “B” by a deed such conveyance would be a “wild deed”, but if A thereafter acquires title to Blackacre, this after acquired title will automatically enure to the benefit of B , and its successors in interest. Under this rule, the title would inure to the benefit of the parties by application of the Doctrine of Estoppel — preventing A from denying that A owned the interest A purported to convey to B. This doctrine applies regardless of how or when the subsequent title is acquired by A, and regardless of whether or not there is a mere ignorance or fraud on A’s part. For example, assume a chain of title that runs from A to B, B to C, C to D, an instrument recorded during C’s possession of the property from E to Z purporting to convey the land owned of record by C is a wild instrument and does not render C’s title unmarketable. If, however, after the date of the deed from E to Z, D conveys to E the property described in the deed of E to Z the deed from E to Z is effective to convey the property to Z.
Comment 2. For Vermont cases related to after acquired title, see Cross v. Martin, 46 Vt, 14 (1873) and President and Fellows of Middlebury College v. Cheney, 1 Vt. 336 (1828). The cases on “after acquired title” hold as well settled law that a deed with warranty covenants passes a title later acquired by the grantor, as long as the grantor acquires the title before the party holding the land by the wild deed is ousted or removed from the property. The legal principle on which the cases are based is the absurdity of having the grantor of the wild instrument recover the lands from the grantee after the grantor actually acquires the property, and the recovery by the grantee of the wild instrument of damages from the grantor. The vesting of the title in the grantee of the formerly wild instrument is in discharge of the covenants of warranty in the wild instrument.
March 29, 2000:
- Comment 1 – Replaced the word “ensure” with inure.