We frequently have customers who can’t find their abstract and wonder what they can do.  When going to sell a property, you need to have title evidence to come forward from – which usually means that we need to locate the abstract (if there is one).  Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Is the property abstract or Torrens.  (If the property is Torrens, you can stop looking for your abstract.  There isn’t one.  The title company can do all the needed research without having anything to come forward from.)  There are ways to tell if your property is Torrens or abstract:
    • Call the county recorder and ask them.  (You will need your legal description).
    • Look at the recorded deed where you took title.  (It will indicate at the top whether it was “Office of the Registrar” = Torrens     OR    “Office of County Recorder” = abstract.)
    • You can call your local, friendly title company and they can help you.
  • You might have an Owner’s Policy of Title Insurance instead.  If you can find this,  you don’t need your abstract.
    • Check your file from your closing.  This would be the most likely place for your Owner’s Policy
    • Call the company you closed with and they should be able to tell you if you purchased an owners policy.  If you did purchase one, they can usually send you a copy of the Owner’s Policy.
  • Assuming you have looked everywhere possible, with no success, you can also ask a neighboring property owner to see if they have an abstract for their property.   Often, before property was developed, it was part of a larger parcel.  It is possible that your neighbor’s property was part of the same big parcel before it was split up.  If so, the neighbors abstract might be used as a “base” to use for search on your own property.
  • If all else fails, we can perform a “40 year search” of the property.  The information from this search can be used to provide an Owner’s Policy of Title Insurance to a new owner.

Your abstract is a valuable piece of information – and it can be costly to replace.  If you get one for your property, keep it in a safe place (many people put it in a safe deposit box – to protect it from theft or fire).

Disclaimer – this information is NOT legal or financial advice, and should not be used as a substitute for the same.  It is offered for informational purposes only.  Many different factors can influence the proper course of action for a particular situation.  Please seek the advice of a qualified professional for guidance with your specific transaction.