“What are Title Records?” is a question asked by property buyers seeking to understand the process of obtaining clear title to property they are interested in purchasing.
Title records are the municipal, county and title plant (an information storehouse maintained by the title company) documents searched by a title agent prior to the issuing of a title on a property. The title agent is searching for defects in the chain of history of a property
that need to be remedied before a title can be cleared and a title issued.
The Title Search
Title records will be searched for utility assessments, unpaid tax bills, boundary disputes, other deeds or mortgages, unsatisfied contractor liens, judgments, name and notary irregularities and any other defects in the property’s chain of history which will help determine any hazards to the title.
All documents collected from the pubic record are reviewed to see how each affects the property (and which defects discovered during previous title search have been corrected.) The language in documents addressing life estates and remainder interests are particularly noted. A trained title examiner conducts this search.
In a full coverage search, the title report may show recorded encumbrances against the property or portion of the property. Easements, covenants ordinances and conditions and restrictions about the real property are also searched, as are bankruptcy proceedings.
When it comes to refinancing or ownership equity loan transactions or for simple guarantee reports, a limited coverage search may be all that is required. This usually searches for liens against the title or owner and includes a bankruptcy search against the owner’s property. (There are many types of non-insured reports used only in probate or sub-division of properties, but these reports
are not used in determining or issuing title insurance.)
Title records are more fully explained at the American Land Title Association website here.