After-Acquired Title

After-Acquired Title: Overview

“After-acquired Title” is a legal doctrine recognized in many jurisdictions which provides that, when a grantor purports to convey or mortgage property to which he is not vested, any title subsequently obtained by that grantor automatically passes to his grantee by operation of law. The purpose of this doctrine is to give effect to the intent of the parties to a conveyance, or security instrument as evidenced by the documents they execute. After-acquired title applies when Joe, who has not interest in the land, conveys title to the land to Mary and then subsequently acquires title to the land from Fred, who originally held legal title to the land. At the time Joe acquires title, such title automatically passes to Mary. This doctrine has been codified into a statutory provision in some states but originally it was an equitable doctrine to prevent unjust enrichment. As a general principle, warranty deeds and grant deeds are deemed to transfer after acquired title, but quitclaim deeds do not.