- October 24, 2014
- Posted by: U.S. Title Records
- Category: Full chain of title, Property records, PROPERTY TITLE SEARCH, Real Estate, Title companies, Title conveyance, Title reports
Following the Full Chain of Title
When acquiring land and real estate, you also acquire title to the property. Most people are familiar with this concept in terms of automotive ownership, but they may not realize that many other goods are also protected by title. Real estate is one of the more common areas where the title is important, but intellectual property and rights also often come with a title in tow. When you are purchasing anything that is title protected, it is important to have access to the full chain of title.
What is a Full Chain of Title?
A full chain of title abstract will typically include sale, lien, mortgage, conveyance and transfer history for the subject property. The report would also include digitized documents and records generated from microfiche with the county recorders office for a sequence of historical transfers of title to the property and documentation of ownership listed in chronological order.
Proof of Ownership
In America, a title search allows you to review the entire property’s history to learn who has had possession of the property at any given period of time. This kind of information is important in a number of cases, especially involving legal matters. Regardless of what the future is in terms of needing to know who has owned a specific portion of the property, a full chain of title is required and which provides the detail of all current lien holders and encumbrances recorded against the property before transferring real estate ownership.
Your first step to obtaining property ownership should be to request a preliminary title report. A title report is often performed by a title company or specialized attorney’s office, but can also be performed by a third party support industry or abstracting company. If you do not follow the proper steps, including a comprehensive title policy from a local title company, you could face legal problems of ownership if you ever attempt to sell the property at a later date.
Beginning the Search for a Title
A good place to start looking for past owners and transfers and liens is the local county recorders office or county clerk’s office. These offices are required to keep up-to-date records of all property titles that are authorized in a given county. A transaction closing can get tricky when your local registrar does not have the most current title information, and that is when you need to hire additional investigators (local abstractor or attorney) to complete the report. Before you can make a conveyance contract, you must have the full chain of title reflecting all liens and encumbrances. If you cannot find an accurate record of previous owners, your entire selling or purchasing plans may be postponed until you can find the properly authorized records. This can be frustrating, and may even lead to not being able to sell or buy land after the negotiation process is finalized with the other interested party. To ensure your transfer process goes smoothly, the chain of title together with a title insurance policy, is absolutely necessary.
Many mortgage holders now depend on third party systems to keep track of titles. This means that in order to obtain the title once the mortgage has been paid in full, a claimant must have the title and release of mortgage mailed to them from the system’s headquarters. This delay is almost always a part of the ownership transfer process and should be expected. If you need to have your title in your hands today from the owner or a bank, you are almost certainly out of luck. It will often take at least two weeks with expedited title services and more than a month for normal full chain of title investigations, even if the title is clear. If this process has led to frustrations and problems, knowing that there is little that can be done except wait can be helpful.
Some lenders and mortgage holders attempt to prevent titles from changing hands, to avoid changing mortgage sell and buying liabilities. This is often good for keeping risks low, and the question of who actually owns the property has made this practice unpopular among some lenders.
Where to Turn for Help
If you need to begin a full chain of title search, it is best to contact the professionals in the industry rather than attempting to wade through county records as well as the complexities and politics on your own. A reputable title company, title search website or real estate attorney’s office can provide a primary and full chain of title searches. If you have additional questions about buying or selling a piece of property, a real estate attorney, title officer or title specialist should be consulted.
In order to make purchasing valuable investments legal and transparent, getting the full chain of title as soon as possible should be a priority. If the title was possessed by a person who misused the property, performed illegal actions or encumbered the parcel of land with liens, you may be able to use the title history to help in insurance cases. One notable worry is the possibility that a home could have been used to produce methamphetamine, which renders buildings almost entirely unlivable. If you can prove that you did not own the home, your insurance may be able to pursue criminal charges or at least be more likely to pay for repairs or waste disposal. This type of case certainly not necessarily common, but it is situations like it that make having accurate data about past ownership so important.
To begin any future real estate conveyances, make sure you have the help of an experienced title specialist or real estate attorney, especially if you are trading large parcels of land or particularly valuable acreage. Obtain the full chain of title, title policy and also make sure to fill out appropriate forms to list yourself for future ownership, if you are the buyer. If you have a dispute about a title, also make sure to get proper help from title professionals in the industry.
For more information on Private Money Leveraging see: PRIVATE MONEY | SELLER FINANCING PURCHASING
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