Real Property: The Recording System: Chain of Title Problems: The Shelter Rule

The Shelter Rule: One who takes from a BFP will prevail against any entity that the transferor or BFP would have prevailed against. The transferee “takes shelter” in the status of her transferor, and thereby “steps into the shoes” of the BFP even through she otherwise fails to meet the requirements of BFP status.
  • EX: O conveys to A, who does not record. Later, O conveys to B, a BFP, who records. B then conveys to C, who is a mere donee or has actual knowledge of the O to A transfer. In the contest of A vs. C, C prevails. C wins in both a notice and a race-notice jurisdiction, because of the shelter rule. C steps into the shoes of B, who was a BFP who recorded first. (Shelter rule exists to protect B, BFP. Exists to make B’s life easier)