June 28, 2007

Sellers must search and investigate the chain of title before purchasing land

This point is obvious, but in AARON BURKHART v. WELLS FARGO BANK WEST, N.A., ET AL., the Tennessee Court of Appeals held that the duty of a purchaser of land to discover and investigate matters of public record (in this case, a deed of trust at the courthouse) trumps the duty of the seller to disclose material facts affecting the property’s value known to the seller but not reasonably known to or discoverable by the buyer. Further, the Court held that failure to disclose said matters of public record does not constitute an unfair or deceptive practice under th Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, § 47-18-101 et seq.