when two or more deeds exist, both purporting to convey title to the same property, which deed will be enforced?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Various facts are likely to impact the answer and this is something that an attorney would need to work through to best determine. Even then, it may come down to litigating. That said, you would start with the premise that first in time would be the owner of the interest, but that can be trumped if the person failed to record and the grantee in the second deed was an innocent purchaser for value and did record. Again, a full understanding of the background would be necessary to suggest the likely outcome.
I agree with Mr. Repay, but what do you mean by "exist"? If X owned the property and gave a deed to Y dated 1/1 who recorded it, and then X gave another deed to Z dated 1/2 for the SAME property which was recorded later, then normally the deed to Y would control, and Z may wind up with nothing other than possibly a lawsuit against X for a fraudulent conveyance. If Z happened to record his deed first, however, then the point of Illinois' laws about "race-notice" says the first in time to record normally would prevail, but with Y's deed dated a day earlier, if it was given to Y 1/1, Y may have a right to title against Z. More information is required as such.