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  1. #1
    joybelle5445 is offline Member
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    Question "Less and Except" Clause on deed

    What is the name of your state? Alabama

    In 1983, My parents purchased land with a house on it. On the deed, it has the legal description of the land "**************containing 5 acres, and being a portion of the described fourth, Section 12, Township 8 South, Range 4 East in ******** County, Alabama LESS AND EXCEPT, the 2 acre tract of land heretofore conveyed to (name) by deed recorded in Deed Book**************..."

    *****=the name of our county, (name) was the man's name that the 2 acre tract belonged to, and **************.was just details and not necessarily relevent to my question.

    I have never seen a LESS AND EXCEPT in a deed before and am curious to know why it is there. This same description was even on the mortgage for the land. I am confused as to why there wasn't a separation of these two as far as this deed goes. I got a copy of the deed for the 2 acre tract, dated 1977, and it didn't refer to the land my parents came to own. It clearly had its own description so why was it on their deed?

    Thanks
  2. #2
    Florid-aise is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by joybelle5445
    What is the name of your state? Alabama

    In 1983, My parents purchased land with a house on it. On the deed, it has the legal description of the land "**************containing 5 acres, and being a portion of the described fourth, Section 12, Township 8 South, Range 4 East in ******** County, Alabama LESS AND EXCEPT, the 2 acre tract of land heretofore conveyed to (name) by deed recorded in Deed Book**************..."

    *****=the name of our county, (name) was the man's name that the 2 acre tract belonged to, and **************.was just details and not necessarily relevent to my question.

    I have never seen a LESS AND EXCEPT in a deed before and am curious to know why it is there. This same description was even on the mortgage for the land. I am confused as to why there wasn't a separation of these two as far as this deed goes. I got a copy of the deed for the 2 acre tract, dated 1977, and it didn't refer to the land my parents came to own. It clearly had its own description so why was it on their deed?

    Thanks
    Imagine a large square box drawn on a sheet of paper for example. This box, however big you draw it on a piece of paper, would constitute 7 acres of land.

    Now, cut out one corner of that box, or draw two additional lines within that large box that would make a smaller box within the larger box.

    The large box you have drawn is your parent's land.

    The small box is the other lot.

    Your parent's deed tells the entire world that they own that entire tract of land in the large box;

    less and except,

    the land in the smaller box.
  3. #3
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    I've also seen the verbage such as "excepting the easterly 30 feet ..." etc. as a way of excluding lands from a legal description.

    And poster, the mortgage would of course, need to match the lands described in the deed because that is the land they own. While a mortgage may encumber LESS property than a party owns, it should not include MORE than they own.
    Last edited by nextwife; 01-14-2005 at 07:49 AM.
  4. #4
    seniorjudge Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Florid-aise
    ...Imagine a large square box...

    What kind of a box?
  5. #5
    jimmler is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by joybelle5445
    What is the name of your state? Alabama

    In 1983, My parents purchased land with a house on it. On the deed, it has the legal description of the land "**************containing 5 acres, and being a portion of the described fourth, Section 12, Township 8 South, Range 4 East in ******** County, Alabama LESS AND EXCEPT, the 2 acre tract of land heretofore conveyed to (name) by deed recorded in Deed Book**************..."

    *****=the name of our county, (name) was the man's name that the 2 acre tract belonged to, and **************.was just details and not necessarily relevent to my question.

    I have never seen a LESS AND EXCEPT in a deed before and am curious to know why it is there. This same description was even on the mortgage for the land. I am confused as to why there wasn't a separation of these two as far as this deed goes. I got a copy of the deed for the 2 acre tract, dated 1977, and it didn't refer to the land my parents came to own. It clearly had its own description so why was it on their deed?

    Thanks

    The reason Less and Except is in the deed is because the original owners of the whole tract were too cheap to pay the surveyor to write two descriptions. The only parcel described was the 2 acres being conveyed out, then the original parcel is described as it was originally, save and except the two acre piece. I see it all the time.

    Hope this helps.

    I am not a lawyer, I have been in surveying for 15 years.
  6. #6
    seniorjudge Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by jimmler
    ...The reason Less and Except is in the deed is because the original owners of the whole tract were too cheap to pay the surveyor to write two descriptions....

    Maybe, but another reason is that if the exception were surveyed and fully described in the new deed and something was wrong with the legal of the exception, then you'd be up the creek.

    So, to be absolutely safe, saying less and except book and page is an excellent way to do it.
  7. #7
    Florid-aise is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorjudge
    What kind of a box?
    Hmmmm, let's see....

    --an imaginary box,

    --a two-diminsional box [so help me, if you make me go and get my Funk and Wagnel's off the shelf to explain this......sheeesh],

    --an non-parallelagram,

    --a box scribed upon papyrus,

    --a descriptive box....

    --The OP axes one simple question, and suddenly there appears three of the best answers I have ever seen, less and except my own of course.

    Task Master ! ! --->
  8. #8
    joybelle5445 is offline Member
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    Response

    We have a county GIS map system online and while I can find most of the land information on it, the 2 acre tract cannot be found. Since the deed is dated 1977, it is quite possible that it has since resold. My question now is: If it has been resold, how would I go about looking that info up? I feel sure it would require a trip to the county court house but I still would need to know where to look exactly for it? Any ideas?

    Ya'll have been a big help. Thanks
  9. #9
    seniorjudge Guest
    "...I feel sure it would require a trip to the county court house but I still would need to know where to look exactly for it?..."

    Find out who the current owner is and then find out at the courhouse who is paying taxes on it.

    You could also find out by address who the owner is and who is paying taxes at that property address.

    The recorder of deeds will have records of who sold the property and who they sold it to. You generally need the name of the last or current owner to find the current deed.
  10. #10
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorjudge
    [B]
    You generally need the name of the last or current owner to find the current deed.
    Not necessarily. Many RODs offices "track" by legal description as well as Grantee-Grantor records. I know that searches can be done with no data whatsoever, as to owners names, in a great many RODs offices.

    Another option would be to pay a title company for a "letter report" or "property report" on the parcel in question. In many areas, these only cost about $100-$150, as they don't search for matters that "run with the land", such as E&Rs, and only search to determine ownership and are not issuing insurance.
    Last edited by nextwife; 01-15-2005 at 07:59 AM.
  11. #11
    jimmler is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorjudge
    Maybe, but another reason is that if the exception were surveyed and fully described in the new deed and something was wrong with the legal of the exception, then you'd be up the creek.

    So, to be absolutely safe, saying less and except book and page is an excellent way to do it.

    As a lawyer writing a description without the benefit of a survey or a description written by a surveyor for the transaction, I agree.

    It is always better for the consumer to have a survey in a real estate transaction, though, because only a survey would discover if there was a problem with the legal of the exception. So the lawyer is covered but the consumer is not in case of problems using less and except book and page.
  12. #12
    seniorjudge Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by jimmler
    As a lawyer writing a description without the benefit of a survey or a description written by a surveyor for the transaction, I agree.

    It is always better for the consumer to have a survey in a real estate transaction, though, because only a survey would discover if there was a problem with the legal of the exception. So the lawyer is covered but the consumer is not in case of problems using less and except book and page.
    Amen and amen.

    If I am forced to write a legal, I include a phrase right under it that includes, "You shoulda got a survey, dude." Or words to that effect.

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