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Abstract Title Definition

Abstract title property is the most common form of title found in the United States. An abstract of title is a condensed history of all deeds, mortgages and other documents relating to a particular piece of land, which affect the title. Recorded homestead documents are listed at the beginning of many abstracts in Pope County. If parts of the original parcel of land have been sold, the deeds are included in the abstract.

Getting a Clear Title

When property is sold or mortgaged the lending institution or new owner wants to be sure the title is clear. If the title isn’t clear the lending institution may not be able to foreclose, if need be. An attorney or title insurance firm is hired to review the abstract. This is done by following the various lines of ownership from person to person and deed to deed over the years, matching mortgages with releases, etc. A Title Opinion concludes who owns the land and what liens or encumbrances are still valid and in force. An Owners & Encumbrance Report (O & E) is a report listing current owners and open mortgages or liens. An O & E does not state the title is clear or if the mortgages are valid and in force. An O & E can be obtained from an abstractor.

In Pope County, more than 99% of the documents recorded are abstract title property.