"euitable title" - Posted by Earnest

Posted by Stew(Ne) on July 23, 2001 at 09:48:18:

IMHO, according to Bronchick’s Land Trust course, the Trustee has legal and equitable title, the beneficiary has a beneficial interest.

“euitable title” - Posted by Earnest

Posted by Earnest on July 22, 2001 at 08:34:10:

I see the phrase, “equitable title” bantered around here occassionaly. Does it mean anything other than normally taking title? Thanks to anyone who answers.

There’s another meaning also… - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on July 22, 2001 at 19:00:34:

in a land contract or other vehicle where the deed has NOT been transfered, the vendor has “record title” in that the vendor is the owner of record. The vendee has equitable title, whether there is any equity or not in the property. Even if the property is worth $100,000 and there is a mortgage for $100,000, the vendee still has equitable title.

Re: “euitable title” - Posted by Jim Kennedy - Houston, TX

Posted by Jim Kennedy - Houston, TX on July 22, 2001 at 11:25:15:

In addition to what Ed Copp (OH) wrote regarding the land contract scenario (where the vendor retains legal title while the vendee has equitable title), there are other situations where the concept of equitable title vs. legal title come into consideration. Most notably in title theory states (where the trustee under a deed of trust holds bare legal title on behalf of the lender while the grantee/borrower holds equitable title and the bundle of rights associated with ownership, including occupancy, use and quiet enjoyment, and the right to sell, bequeath, give or lease all or a part of these rights to the property.

Another example would be a situation where a buyer and seller have come to agreement over the purchase of a property and have executed a legally binding purchase and sale contract with closing to occur sometime in the near future. The buyer now has equitable title but the seller still has legal title until the deed is accepted. Prior to closing, valuable oil, gas or minerals are discovered on the property. The concept of equitable title could become extremely important to the parties involved.

Hope this helps.

Best of Success!!

Jim Kennedy,
Houston, TX

Re: “euitable title” - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on July 22, 2001 at 09:30:42:

Equitable title, is most often heard here when discussing land contracts, or contracts for deed. The term referrs to the portion of the equity that the purchaser may own. So to oversimplify, “equitable title” may refer to the protion of the equity that may be owned.

Another example might be that if B is the land contract buyer, and he buys from A. for lets say $100,000 using a down payment of $5,000.

A will keep the deed usually until the contract is paid off, he (A) has the title.

B has paid a down payment to A, and has a “contract” with A. So B now has an interest in the property. B, owns an equity in the property. This is called an equitable interest.

The equitable interest is made up of the down payment, and any actual value that the proerty has over and above the agreed to price in the contract. The land contract is written proof that you the buyer (B) have an interest in the equity. You own the equity over and above what is still owed to (A). But you do not have the deed. You do however have a contract that is proof that you have ownership of the equity. This is called equitable title.

Re: There’s another meaning also… - Posted by Paul_MA

Posted by Paul_MA on July 23, 2001 at 01:01:57:

When using a Land Trust, the beneficiary has equitable title and the trustee has legal title.

One more meaning - Posted by Paul_MA

Posted by Paul_MA on July 23, 2001 at 01:00:12:

In the concept of a Land Trust, the beneficiary has legal title and the trustee has equitable title.

Re: “euitable title” - Posted by Bill Gatten

Posted by Bill Gatten on July 23, 2001 at 20:54:17:


Hey! You’ve attended at least three of my workshops and were my VERY best student at each one! I know you know that the trustee in a land trust holds both legal and equitable title, and that the beneficiaries hold air (characterized as personalty…except for IRS purposes).

Also Jim, in this trust deed state at least, the title company holding the trusteeship of a trust deed does not hold a bona fide title interest…only a power of sale as directed by the trustee (the lender) unless it is given a direction to foreclose. A homeowner in a trust deed state holds both legal and equitable title in his property as conveyed to him by his Grant Deed or Warranty Deed…unless he defaults: at which point the power of sale reverts to the trustee under provisions of the security agreement (kind’ve a “contingent legal title”).

There will be a quick quiz later…you’d better bone up Mr. K. This one decides your final grade.

Bill Gatten

No! Wait! Ed…what’s the deal? - Posted by Bill Gatten

Posted by Bill Gatten on July 23, 2001 at 21:11:20:

Equitable Title has nothing directly to do directly with “monetary equity” in an asset Equitable Title is merely a term related to ownership rights as protected by holding an “interest in equity.” It’s not an amount of something: it’s a body of jurisprudence or field of jurisdiction separate from the dictates of common law.

I.e. Equity = Justice rendered in accordance with fairness, versus justice prscribed by common law. One may have an equitable interest in a house, whether the property has any monetary “equity” or not. The term refers to a system of “fairness,” which would award a claimant the difference between the value of one’s interest in a thing less liabilities against that interest…whether a legal owner of the asset or not.

I know this is complicated, but think of equitable title as the right to, or right to claim, the legal title once certain obligations have been (or were) fulfilled.

A vendee in a land contract who does not fulfill his obligations under the agreement may have no right at all to any of the equity in the property.

Bill Gatten

Re: This is an excellent explanation. (NM) - Posted by Rich

Posted by Rich on July 22, 2001 at 17:59:03:


The previous is backward, please ignore. - Posted by Paul_MA

Posted by Paul_MA on July 23, 2001 at 01:03:21: