I was trying to keep out of this one, but I just can’t stand it anymore…
First of all, let me say that I own a title company, am a licensed title producer in my state, and have held a licenses in another state (neither of them is TX). So I guess I can put in my two cents. Let me also make the standard disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, etc. etc. All that said…
Yes, I strongly agree that you consult with a lawyer (who knows how far the fight could go? You need someone who represents YOU at the ready. The Title Company does not represent you, even if it were not affiliated with the Builder). From a professional standpoint, this sort of “mistake” is absolutely inexcuseable…and not an easy one to make. Any good closer knows to read the contract, verify the price, and have the closing statement approved/reviewed by all parties prior to closing…especially a purchase.
While not knowing the whole story about what exactly happened with your transaction, I am guessing that the Title Company is simply hoping you pay up. You may or may not have to pay up, depending on circumstances. First, I would look at your contract (as a poster above mentioned). What does it say the contract sales price is?
If a deed has been recorded, you are in title to the property. You own it. In addition, the seller/it’s representative has signed the HUD and accepted the consideration (although a cash transaction is not covered under RESPA, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act). How much weight that ultimately carries will depend on what your contract says, but it sure doesn’t hurt your case. Whether or not your builder can pursue a judgement against you/lien your property for the amount in dispute is another story (again, speak to a lawyer regarding TX law).
Also, if it were me, I would look at a copy of the Title Commitment (which they should have provided to you before closing) and see who the insurance underwriter is. You may be able to file a claim with them to cover the difference (worth a shot…and your title company will not like it if their underwriter gets involved due to their mistake).
Your title company is supposed to have Errors & Omissions insurance as well…in other words, insurance that is supposed to cover them if the Screw Up Fairy visits.
Just wanted to put some things out there that you might not have known about. And of course, give you some things to ask your lawyer about