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What is an abstract of title?

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The abstract of title provides you with the information as to who the present and previous owners are of a specific property. In essence, it outlines the history of the property.

Properties are often sold, donated or inherited. With these transactions, the title changes hands through applicable legal instruments, such as a deed. These should all be recorded in the abstract of title. The abstract of title will also record any attachments or liens are filed against the property.

The abstract of title contains the set of all applicable legal documents. It also contains references to deeds, wills, mortgages, court litigations, liens, probate records and tax sales. The abstract of title will help in a title search, so that it is easier to trace the different owners and to check if each transfer transaction was done properly and legally. This means that all heirs are accounted for and that there are no doubts about who the legal owner is.

The abstract of title also outlines the purchase price when the property was sold, as well as how long each owner held the property. There are also times, though rarely, when capital improvements on the property are listed down.

When you request for an abstract of title, the abstractor will also provide a certification that guarantees that the history outlined in the abstract is accurate and complete.

The abstract of title is useful in the first few steps of the issuance of a title insurance policy. This is different from a title opinion or a title commitment, which is the title searcher's report concerning his opinion as to the status of the property.

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