How can I get my money back a sale of house that is partially over the property line?

I purchased the house from a distant cousin for my disabled niece using her trust fund for $15,000. I went through a title company but not a real estate

agency. I did get title insurance but I did not get the additional coverage to cover a survey done. After the closing, the surveyors were running behind on their work so I went ahead and closed. The survey was done 2 weeks later

and the house is sitting 6.55 feet over the property line. I filed a claim with the title company but I know it will be denied because I did not take the additional coverage. What else can I do? I showed my cousin the problem and ask for the money back. He agreed verbally but now has a change of heart because

he is avoiding my calls. He said his lawyer will contact the land office. Should I keep calling him get an attorney or what? The value of the property was $1,800 and he charged me $15,000.

Asked on March 12, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You have no claim against the title company becasue you did not get the necessary coverage. 
You most likely have no claim against your cousin, either, unfortunately: 
1) If he did not lie--that is, if he did not know of the survey issue and knowingly disclose it--he did nothing legally wrong; liabilty depends on fault, but if he did not himself know of the problem, he is not at fault.
2) Even if you can show that he knew or logically *must* have known of the issue and so did lie (i.e. commit fraud), your decision to go ahead with the purchse prior to getting the survey probably precludes you from getting compensation or rescinding (undoing) the sale, since by choosing to forego the survey, you voluntarily accepted or assumed the risk of a survey-related problem. Having accepted that risk, you most likely are not entitled to compensation for it.


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