YOU ASK:

What does a title examiner and title abstractor do?

WE ANSWER:

A title examiner and abstractor does a title search and evaluates public documents to see whether a title is clear of any "clouds". These clouds are restrictions that may put the ownership of the property in question and may affect how the property is used or sold.

He is the one that is called on to do a title search and to report his findings to the one who assigned the title search. Here are the things that a title examiner and title abstractor does:

  • Information gathering. He culls information from public documents from relevant sources, such as the county property records section and will look at deeds, titles, wills, marriage and birth certificates and other pertinent records.
  • Information and data analysis. He then looks at the information and see whether there are some "chinks" in the chain of title. He looks at who the heirs are to a property and whether all the heirs have properly signed off on a sale or transfer of ownership of the property. He also analyzes the information to check that the transfers were done properly and legally - that these complied with the prevailing laws and regulations. He also checks land and street map books to verify the legal property address.
  • Information reporting. After looking at the information, the title examiner and abstractor will produce a title opinion, outlining the clouds in the title, if there are any. The title opinion will state the examiner's opinion of the status of the title.

Other things that the title examiner and abstractor will check will be:

  • Zoning and building ordinances that may affect the use and sale of the property
  • Liens attached to the property
  • Existence of trust deeds and mortgages
  • Unpaid dues such as property taxes and homeowners' dues
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