Recording (real Estate) - Title Searching

Title Searching

Theoretically, title searching is performed by starting with the grantor index and looking up the name of the first recorded owner of title. This is usually the sovereign, which is the federal government outside the original states of the United States. The search finds the grant from the sovereign to the first grantee. This is usually in the form of a patent. Then the grantee's name is looked up in the grantor index to find the deed by which it has subsequently conveyed the title, and so forth until no more grants are found. Also, liens or encumbrances granted by any of the grantors are also found in the search. Though theoretically pure, this approach has practical difficulties. The reason is that there are so many grants from the sovereign that finding the one to the land in question is often quite difficult and time consuming. Therefore, an alternative method is to reverse the process, i.e. to search backward in the grantee index. This is done by beginning with the name of the person or entity who is thought to own the land to find the grantor to it. Then the grantee index is searched again to find the source of that grantor's title, and so on until you reach the grant from the sovereign. These linkages from grantor to grantee are called the "chain of title." The last grantee found is the "record title holder."

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