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Section 11: Closing and Recording Procedures

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The right of way agent handling the negotiations should be present during the closing transaction, to maintain good public relations. The agent may also answer any questions concerning the negotiation process and confirm that TxDOT has made no promises beyond those in the MOA.

The TxDOT agent handling the negotiations must not personally deliver any warrant to the property owner. This restriction applies to appraisers, review appraisers, negotiators, attorneys who settle condemnation cases, and similar personnel. The responsibility for closing the transaction and disbursing the funds for a parcel must be assigned to a responsible member of the Department staff who did not handle such functions on that particular parcel. Take every precautionary measure to verify that the disbursement of funds is in accord with the deed, agreement, and title requirements.

The staff attorney preparing the appropriate Attorney's Certificates is responsible for determining whether any transaction has occurred involving the property since the date of the certificate. The staff attorney will also verify that all required curative work has been performed and that all appropriate instruments have been recorded.

After the warrants have been delivered to the payees, the deeds and releases or final judgment should be filed for record immediately. The staff attorney will then certify by use of Attorney's Certificate "E" that payment has been made and title taken in the name of the State of Texas. In condemnation cases, immediately notify the ROW Program Office in Austin in writing of the date the deposit is made in the registry of the court and possession taken. This information is required for partial federal reimbursement pending final judgment.

The costs of recording curative instruments will generally be borne by the property owner and will be deducted from any amounts due the property owner. The cost of recording instruments conveying title to TxDOT should not be charged to the owner. See Curative Work and Recording of Legal Instruments (for State) and Recording of Legal Instruments (for LPA). Transmit one copy of the final Attorney's Certificate "E" to the ROW Program Office in Austin with the recorded instruments (either the recorded conveyance document or a certified copy of the final judgment as recorded in the Deed Records) conveying title to the State of Texas.

Forward each deed, easement, or other instrument of conveyance to the ROW Program Office in Austin after it has been recorded, after proper entries are made on the project right of way map, and after applicable title requirements have been met. As required by law, all instruments of conveyance will be retained in the ROW Program Office as part of the permanent files of TxDOT.

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