Introductory note: In this chapter, we examine the various statutory schemes, called recording acts, which govern most priority disputes in real estate. Then we treat various ways in which the buyer of property may be assured that her title is valid; the most significant among these is the title insurance policy.
A. Conflicts in real estate: The vast majority of situations in which there are two or more conflicting claims to a particular piece of real estate are resolved by use of recording acts, discussed below. However, occasionally the recording act will not govern a particular situation, and it becomes important to understand the common-law system of priorities.