Q: I purchased two properties, but the title company put the wrong description on the deeds, confusing the two.
The title company is now saying that it will change the deeds without our consent and one of the parties wants to back out.
What do you think should occur?
A: While it depends on Michigan law, which is similar to a recent case out of Minnesota, the title company unilaterally corrected the incorrect property descriptions and recorded the new deeds.
The Supreme Court ratified the decision of the trial court upholding the reformation of the deeds where there is a presumption that when a written instrument is drawn and executed, especially a deed, it correctly states the real intent of the parties.
There are occasions, such as mutual mistake of the parties, when judicial reformation of such an instrument is appropriate.
The court indicated that a mutual mistake is one common to both parties, who share a misconception respecting the same terms of their written agreement.
The court also noted that it was irrelevant that the actual mistake was not made by the parties, but by a closing agent who, in effect, served as a scrivener and basically said (which would probably be the case in your instance) that reformation merely made the deeds and mortgage convey the meaning intended by the parties.
However, a lawyer should examine all of your facts to see if you fit within this legal conclusion.