Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances
9/29/2020

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 55.1-600. When and where writings recorded.

Except when it is otherwise provided, the circuit court of any county or city, or the clerk of any such court, or his duly qualified deputy, in his office, shall record any such writing as to any person whose name is signed thereto with an original signature, when it shall have been acknowledged by him, or proved by two witnesses as to him in such court, or before such clerk, or his duly qualified deputy, in his office, or the manner prescribed in Articles 2 (§ 55.1-612 et seq.), 3 (§ 55.1-616 et seq.), and 4 (§ 55.1-624 et seq.). When such writing is signed by a person acting on behalf of another, or in any representative capacity, the signature of such representative may be acknowledged or proved in the same manner.

Code 1919, § 5204; Code 1950, § 55-106; 1972, c. 130; 1994, c. 554; 2014, c. 338; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-601. Recording and indexing of certain documents showing changes of names.

A duly authenticated copy of a marriage license with the certificate of the person celebrating the marriage or a duly authenticated copy of a final order of divorce showing a change of name of a woman shall be entitled to be recorded in the clerk's office in which deeds are recorded of the county or city in which any land, or an interest in any land, that is owned by such woman lies and shall be indexed by such clerk in the grantor and grantee indices in his office.

1958, c. 220, § 55-106.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-602. Presumption that recorded writings are in proper form.

A writing that is not properly notarized in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth shall not invalidate the underlying document; however, any such writing shall not be in proper form for recordation. All recorded writings shall be presumed to be in proper form for recording after having been recorded, and conclusively presumed to be in proper form for recording after having been recorded for a period of three years, except in cases of fraud.

1973, c. 161, § 55-106.2; 2008, cc. 117, 814; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-603. Deed of real estate investment trust.

Every deed that is to be recorded conveying property to or from a trust qualifying as a real estate investment trust shall include the complete address of the principal office of the trust. Failure to comply with the provisions of this section shall not invalidate any such deed.

1984, c. 474, § 55-106.4; 2002, c. 621; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-604. When clerk may refuse document to be recorded.

A clerk may refuse any document for recording in which the name of the person under which the document is to be indexed does not legibly appear or is not otherwise furnished.

1986, c. 277, § 55-106.5; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-605. Power of attorney; where recorded.

A power of attorney may be recorded in any county or city.

Code 1919, § 5203; Code 1950, § 55-107; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-606. Standards for writings to be docketed or recorded.

Except as provided in Article 4.1 (§ 17.1-258.2 et seq.) of Title 17.1, all writings that are to be recorded or docketed in the clerk's office of courts of record shall be an original or first generation printed form, or legible copy thereof, pen and ink or typed ribbon copy, and shall meet the standards for instruments as adopted under §§ 17.1-227 and 42.1-82 of the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.).

If a writing that does not conform to the requirements of this section or the standards for instruments adopted under § 17.1-227 and under § 42.1-82 of the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.) is accepted for recordation, it shall be deemed validly recorded and the clerk shall have no liability for accepting such a writing that does not meet the enumerated criteria in all the particulars.

1924, p. 144; Michie Code 1942, § 5210a; Code 1950, § 55-108; 1983, c. 291; 1986, c. 346; 2005, c. 744; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-607. When original of writing once recorded is lost, how copy recorded elsewhere.

If it is proper for any writing that has been recorded in a court of any county or city to be recorded in the court of another county or city and such writing, before being so recorded in such other court, is lost or mislaid, on affidavit of this fact, such court or the clerk of such court may record a copy of such writing from the records of another court, certified by its clerk, and the copy so recorded shall have the same effect as if the original had been recorded at the time the copy was recorded.

Code 1919, § 5212; Code 1950, § 55-109; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-608. Certifications of recordation upon copies of certain instruments and subsequent recordation in other county or city.

Whenever a mortgage or deed of trust instrument upon real or personal property located in more than one county or city is recorded in one such county or city, the party by whom it is so presented may deliver to the clerk of such court any number of executed and acknowledged copies of such instrument. The clerk shall fix to each such copy his certificate of recordation, certifying thereby the payment of the recordation tax levied by the Commonwealth, and shall return to the party presenting all such instruments all such copies except one, which shall be retained by the clerk for recordation in his office. Such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the payment of the recordation tax indicated thereby, and the clerk in any other recording office in any other county or city shall accept for recordation in his office any such copy so certified.

1962, c. 301, § 55-109.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-609. Correcting errors in deeds, deeds of trust, and mortgages; affidavit.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Attorney" means any person licensed as an attorney in Virginia by the Virginia State Bar.

"Corrective affidavit" means an affidavit of an attorney correcting an obvious description error.

"Obvious description error" means an error in a real property parcel description contained in a recorded deed, deed of trust, or mortgage where (i) such parcel is identified and shown as a separate parcel on a recorded subdivision plat; (ii) such error is apparent by reference to other information on the face of such deed, deed of trust, or mortgage or on an attachment to such deed, deed of trust, or mortgage or by reference to other instruments in the chain of title for the property conveyed thereby; and (iii) such deed, deed of trust, or mortgage recites elsewhere the parcel's correct address or tax map identification number. An "obvious description error" includes (a) an error transcribing courses and distances, including the omission of one or more lines of courses and distances or the omission of angles and compass directions; (b) an error incorporating an incorrect recorded plat or a deed reference; (c) an error in a lot number or designation; or (d) an omitted exhibit supplying the legal description of the real property thereby conveyed. An "obvious description error" does not include (1) missing or improper signatures or acknowledgments or (2) any designation of the type of tenancy by which the property is owned or whether or not a right of survivorship exists.

"Recorded subdivision plat" means a plat that has been prepared by a land surveyor licensed pursuant to Article 1 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 54.1 and recorded in the clerk's office of the circuit court for the jurisdiction where the property is located.

"Title insurance company" has the same meaning as set forth in § 38.2-4601, provided that the title insurance company issued a policy of title insurance for the transaction in which the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction was recorded.

B. Obvious description errors in a recorded deed, deed of trust, or mortgage purporting to convey or transfer an interest in real property may be corrected by recording an affidavit in the land records of the circuit court for the jurisdiction where the property is located or where the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction was recorded. No correction of an obvious description error shall be inconsistent with the description of the property in any recorded subdivision plat.

C. Prior to recording a corrective affidavit, the attorney seeking to record the affidavit shall deliver a copy of the affidavit to all parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, including the current owner of the property; to the attorney who prepared the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, if known and if possible; and to the title insurance company, if known, and give notice of the intent to record the affidavit and of each party's right to object to the affidavit. For an affidavit to correct an obvious description error in a deed as described in clause (a) of the definition of "obvious description error" in subsection A, notice and a copy of the affidavit shall also be provided to any owner of property adjoining a line to be corrected. The notice and a copy of the affidavit shall be delivered by personal service, sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or delivered by a commercial overnight delivery service or the United States Postal Service, and a receipt obtained, to the last known address of each party to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage to be corrected that (i) is contained in the land book maintained pursuant to § 58.1-3301 by the jurisdiction where the property is located and where the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction was recorded; (ii) is contained in the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction; (iii) has been provided to the attorney as a forwarding address; or (iv) has been established with reasonable certainty by other means, and to all other persons and entities to whom notice is required to be given. The notice and a copy of the affidavit shall be sent to the property address for the real property conveyed by the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction. If a locality is a party to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, the notice and a copy of the affidavit required by this subsection shall be sent to the county, city, or town attorney for the locality, if any, and if there is no such attorney, then to the chief executive for the locality. For the purposes of this section, the term "party" includes any locality that is a signatory. If the Commonwealth is a party to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, the notice and a copy of the affidavit required by this subsection shall be sent to the Attorney General and to the director, chief executive officer, or head of the state agency or chairman of the board of the state entity in possession or that had possession of the property.

D. If, within 30 days after personal service or receiving confirmation of delivery of the notice and a copy of the affidavit (i) to all parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, including the current owner of the property; (ii) to the attorney who prepared the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, if known and if possible; (iii) to the title insurance company, if known; and (iv) to the adjoining property owners, if necessary, pursuant to subsection C, no written objection is received from any party disputing the facts recited in the affidavit or objecting to its recordation, the corrective affidavit may be recorded by the attorney, and all parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage shall be bound by the terms of the affidavit. The corrective affidavit shall contain (a) a statement that no objection was received from any party within the period and (b) a copy of the notice sent to the parties. The notice shall contain the attorney's Virginia State Bar number. The corrective affidavit shall be notarized.

E. A corrective affidavit that is recorded pursuant to this section operates as a correction of the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage and relates back to the date of the original recordation of the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage as if the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage was correct when first recorded. A title insurance company, upon request, shall issue an endorsement to reflect the corrections made by the corrective affidavit and shall deliver a copy of the endorsement to all parties to the policy who can be found.

F. The clerk shall record the corrective affidavit in the deed book and, notwithstanding their designation in the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction, index the affidavit in the names of the parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage as grantors and grantees as set forth in the affidavit. The costs associated with the recording of a corrective affidavit pursuant to this section shall be paid by the party that records the corrective affidavit. An affidavit recorded in compliance with this section shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated in such affidavit. Any person who wrongfully or erroneously records a corrective affidavit is liable for actual damages sustained by any party due to such recordation, including reasonable attorney fees and costs.

G. The remedies under this section are not exclusive and do not abrogate any right or remedy under the laws of the Commonwealth other than this section.

H. An affidavit under this section may be made in the following form, or to the same effect:

Corrective Affidavit

This Affidavit, prepared pursuant to Virginia Code § 55.1-609, shall be indexed in the names of ________(grantor) and ________ (grantee), whose addresses are ________. The undersigned affiant, being first duly sworn, deposes and states as follows:

1. That the affiant is a Virginia attorney.

2. That the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction was made in connection with a real estate transaction in which ________ purchased real estate from ________, as shown in a deed recorded in the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of ________, in Deed Book ____, Page ____, or as Instrument Number ____; or in which real estate was encumbered, as shown in a deed recorded in the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of ________, in Deed Book ____, Page ____, or as Instrument Number ____.

3. That the property description in the aforementioned deed, deed of trust, or mortgage contains an obvious description error.

4. That the property description containing the obvious description error reads:

________________

________________.

5. That the correct property description should read:

________________

________________.

6. That this affidavit is given pursuant to § 55.1-609 of the Code of Virginia to correct the property description in the aforementioned deed, deed of trust, or mortgage and such description shall be as stated in paragraph 5 above upon recordation of this affidavit in the Circuit Court of ________.

7. That notice of the intent to record this corrective affidavit and a copy of this affidavit was delivered to all parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage being corrected pursuant to § 55.1-609 of the Code of Virginia and that no objection to the recordation of this affidavit was received within the applicable period of time as set forth in § 55.1-609 of the Code of Virginia.

________________

(Name of attorney)

________________

(Signature of attorney)

________________

(Address of attorney)

________________

(Telephone number of attorney)

________________

(Bar number of attorney)

The foregoing affidavit was acknowledged before me

This ______ day of ______, 20__, by

________________

Notary Public

My Commission expires ________.

Notary Registration Number: ________.

I. Notice under this section may be made in the following form, or to the same effect:

Notice of Intent to Correct an Obvious Description Error

Notice is hereby given to you concerning the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage described in the corrective affidavit, a copy of which is attached to this notice, as follows:

1. The attorney identified below has discovered or has been advised of an obvious description error in the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage recorded as part of your real estate settlement. The error is described in the attached affidavit.

2. The undersigned will record an affidavit to correct such error unless the undersigned receives a written objection disputing the facts recited in the affidavit or objecting to the recordation of the affidavit. Your objections must be sent within 30 days of receipt of this notice to the following address:

________________

(Address)

________________

(Name of attorney)

________________

(Signature of attorney)

________________

(Address of attorney)

________________

(Telephone number of attorney)

________________

(Bar number of attorney)

2014, c. 523, § 55-109.2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-610. Recordation of copy of lost deed previously recorded in what is now West Virginia.

In any case when any deed was duly recorded before the formation of the state of West Virginia in any county or city now within the limits of West Virginia and such deed, after diligent search, cannot be found, upon affidavit of that fact by any party in interest, his agent, or his attorney, any court of the Commonwealth in which, or the clerk's office of which, the original might be recorded, or the clerk of any such court, may record a copy of such deed from the records of the court of West Virginia, or the clerk's office of such court in which such deed is recorded, duly certified by the clerk of such court, under the seal of the court, and the recordation of such copy shall have the same effect as the recordation of the original.

Code 1919, § 5212; Code 1950, § 55-110; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-611. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2019, c. 326, cl. 1 and c. 786, cl. 2.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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