What happens if the trustee’s name ona deed of trust is incorrect?

The trustee’s name on my deed of trust is wrong. The middle initial is wrong because I found the correct one on people search. If the house were to go to foreclosure, does the trustee execute the sale and wouldn’t he have to prove that he is the correct one. Is it possible that they have to draw up a new deed and documents to reflect his correct name and also I would have to enter into a new contract?

Asked on July 20, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Minor "clerical" or typographic errors do not invalidate deeds, apppointments as trustees, contracts, etc. As long as it is clear from the circumstances or the context that John or Jane Doe is the intended trustee, the fact  that a middle initial is wrong will have no effect. It would be a different story if there was credible grounds to believe that the wrong person was named; in that case, if someone mounted as challenge to the trustee's appointment or authority, the error in the name would be one element or piece of evidence in such a challenge--though it would not be sufficient in and of itself. If there really is no doubt as to who was named or intended and this is just a "typo," then it will have no impact or effect.

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