Lucy Wood and Heather Way Author Study on Texas Titling Practices

“Contract for Deed Prevalence Project” — a year-long study authored by former Skadden Fellows Lucy Wood (’00) and Heather Way (’97) — has been featured in The Austin American-Statesman (“Informal Contracts Still Put Many Texas Homeowners at Risk, UT Study Shows,” Oct. 21). The study revealed that Texas families still buy land and homes using informal transactions called “contracts for deed” despite state reforms passed years ago to limit the practice. The contracts can result in “clouded” titles that are often not recorded with county clerks and can put buyers at risk, the article said. “If a buyer fails to make a payment on a contract for deed, he or she may risk losing the property, the home he or she built upon it, and all of the payments previously made on the property,” Lucy told the publication. Lucy and Heather teach at the University of Texas School of Law.