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Welcome to the International Right of Way Association’s Course 801 Land Titles. 801-PT – Revision 2 – 07.10.06.USA. Introductions Who we are… What we do… Where we do it… How long we’ve been doing it… Our goals for the course. Objectives At the end of the two days, you will be able to.

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welcome to the international right of way association s course 801 land titles

Welcome to theInternational Right of WayAssociation’sCourse 801Land Titles

801-PT – Revision 2 – 07.10.06.USA


Who we are…

What we do…

Where we do it…

How long we’ve been doing it…

Our goals for the course...

objectives at the end of the two days you will be able to
ObjectivesAt the end of the two days,you will be able to...

• Accurately determine current

title conditions.

• Have knowledge to acquire title

sufficient to satisfy the requirements

of employers.


Day One

8:00 - 8:30 Introductions, Etc.

8:30 - 9:00 Background

9:00 - 9:45 Public Records

10:00 - 12:00 Title Information Sources

1:00 - 1:30 Who Can Hold/ Transfer Title

1:30 - 5:00 How Title is Held and Transferred


Day Two

8:00 - 8:30 Recap and Day Two

8:30 - 10:00 When Title Passes

10:15 - 11:15 Encumbrances

11:15 - 12:00 Staff Title Searches

1:00 - 2:45 Grand Finale Exercise

3:00 - 3:30 What Ifs

3:30 - 4:00 Course Review

4:00 - 5:00 Final Examination

public records
Public Records

• Local

• County

• State

• Federal

local governments
Local Governments

• City Clerk

• Comptroller



• Economic Development Agency

• Department of Public Works

• City Engineer

• Other

county governments
County Governments

• Assessor

• County Clerk

• Treasurer

• Economic Development Agency

• Department of Public Works

• District Court

• Other

state governments
State Governments

• Secretary of State

• Department of Environmental Resources

• Attorney General’s Office

• Other

federal government
Federal Government

• District Court

• Department of the Interior

• Environmental Protection Agency

• Other

abstract of title
Abstract of Title

… a chronological compilationof conveyances, court actions, and other facts affecting titleto a specific tract of land.


… provides copies of all recorded documents and court actions affectinga specific tract of land.

abstract attorney
Abstract Attorney

… interprets the effects of thedocuments on title and provides a written report containing a legal description of the property searched, vested owners, and all partieshaving a property interestsand their specific interest.

title insurance company
Title Insurance Company

… provides a preliminarycommitment for title insurancefollowed by a title insurance policy, insuring the title of the new owner after thetransfer of title.

the sovereigns
The Sovereigns

• Foreign Governments

• Indian Nations

• Federal Government

• State Governments

• Local Governments


… an interest of a particular degree, nature quality, or extent thatone has in property.

• Individual Estate

• Collective Estates

individual estate
Individual Estate

… is one whose ownershipand control is enjoyedby a person free fromother rights or controls.

collective estates
Collective Estates

… is one whose ownership andcontrol is enjoyed by morethan one person or entity.

• Joint Tenancy

• Tenancy in Common

• Community Property

• Life Estate

deeds 1

… a written instrument by which a person transfers ownership of real property to another.

• Quitclaim • Bargain and Sales • Easement• General Warranty/Grant • Special/Limited Warranty • Statutory Warranty • Street/Road/Railroad • Trust• Fulfillment/Partial Fulfillment • Treasurer • Guardian• Reconveyance/Partial Reconveyance • Gift • Correction• Trustee • Release • Sheriff • Executor/Executrix• Survivorship • Administrator/Administratix

deeds 2


A deed that grants only whatever title or interest the grantor has to the property without any title warranty.

Bargain and Sales

A deed that does not provide any title covenants, but conveys the grantor’s entire interest in the property, including any acquired title.

deeds 3

General Warranty/Grant

A deed whereby the grantor will defend title against any and all claims and demands.

Special/Limited Warranty

A deed whereby the grantor limits the warrantyto only those acts committed by the grantor.

Statutory Warranty

A deed form prescribed by state statute.

deeds 4


A deed, although appearing to convey fee title, conveys only a right of way.


An instrument in which, a non-possessory interest is granted.

deeds 5


An instrument used instead of a mortgage.

Trustee Deed

A deed used after a foreclosure on a trust deed.

deeds 6

Fulfillment/Partial Fulfillment

Granted after some or all of the termsof a contract have been met.

Reconveyance/Partial Reconveyance

A deed granted by a trustee on instructionsof the lender, after a promissory note has been paid.

deeds 7


An instrument that releases a property interest.


A deed granted as a result of a sheriff’s sale.


A deed granted by a treasurer after a tax foreclosure.

deeds 8


A court approved deed associated with the terms of a will.


A court approved deed when someone dies intestate.

deeds 9


An instrument whereby court approval is received prior to the property transfer.


Usually granted between spouses to establish transfer rights.


Used to correct errors.


A deed for a nominal consideration.

other means to transfer 1
Other Means to Transfer…(1)

• Judgments • Eminent Domain • Actions to Quiet Title • Divorce Decrees • Operations of Law • Escheat• Prescriptive Rights • Bankruptcy• Death and Probate • Map Filings and Plat• Dedications • Vacations• Abandonments

other means to transfer judgments 2
Other Means to Transfer…Judgments(2)

Eminent Domain

Government’s right to take private property for public use.

Actions to Quiet Title

Actions to determine ownership.

Divorce Decrees

In community property states, divorce decrees may vest title in one person.

other means to transfer operations of law and statutory 3
Other Means to Transfer…Operations of Law and Statutory(3)


The reversion of property to the state.

Prescriptive Rights

Establishes rights in the property of another.


Transfers property from one government to another.

other means to transfer bankruptcy and death probate 4
Other Means to Transfer…Bankruptcy and Death/Probate(4)


The administration of an insolvent debtor’s property.


Testate: with a will. Intestate: without a will.


The process of proving in court that a will is valid.

other means to transfer maps and vacations and abandonments 5
Other Means to Transfer…Maps and Vacations and Abandonments(5)


A declaration dedicating streets, etc. to the public.


A governmental process by which the public’s rights in property are relinquished.


A method to remove an easement.


Interests Definitions

Eminent Domain4. The right of government to take property from a private owner for

public use.

Action to Quiet Title 10. Actions to determine ownership, such as the settlement of a boundary dispute.

Divorce Decree 11. In community property states, may vest title to property in only one person.


Interests Definitions

Escheat 8. The reversion of property to the state.

Prescriptive Rights 5. Establishes rights (easement) in the property of another.

Bankruptcy 12. The administration of an insolvent debtor’s property by a court.

Testate 3. Having a valid will.


Interests Definitions

Intestate 6. Having no valid will.

Probate 11. The judicial determination that a will is valid.

Plat Dedication 7. A declaration dedicating streets, parks, etc. to

the public.


Interests Definitions

Vacation9. Government relinquishing its rights to property.

Statutory 2. A method to transfer property from one government agency to another.

agreements contracts options
Agreements,Contracts, Options...

An agreementexpresses the willingness of parties to agree to terms.

A contract is an agreement thatcreates an obligation to do something.There are remedies for breach.

An option is a “right to buy or sell” agreement.


Purchase Agreements

An agreement to purchase, which, when accepted by the seller, becomesa contract.

Land/Real Estate Contracts

An installment purchase contract.

Escrow Instructions

When signed by the buyer and seller,it becomes a contract for an escrowagent to implement.


Option Agreements

The right, or option, to purchase at an agreed to price, before a specific date.

Lease/Purchase Agreements

A lease with the option to purchase at predetermined terms.

other instruments
Other Instruments


Authorize entry on to property for a specific purpose. Usually can be revoked at will.

Franchise Agreement

Rights granted to railroads and utilities to use assigned corridors within the public right of way.

day one recap 1
Day OneRecap (1)

• Looked at public records, where we look (local, county, state, federal) and what we look for.

• Talked about title information sources (abstracts of title, abstract attorneys, title companies)

• Discussed “The Sovereigns” (foreign, Indian, federal, state, local) and others (individuals and concurrent/groups) title holders.

day one recap 2
Day OneRecap (2)

• Spent most of the afternoon talking about estates (individual and collective), instruments (mostly deed types, the elements and requirements of a deed), other instruments, and agreements, contracts, options, and other instruments.

• At various times throughout the day, we did some exercises.

day two 1
Day Two(1)
  • Specifically, we will discuss:
  • • When title passes• Encumbrances
      • • Staff title searches
      • • What Ifs (when other concerns, problems, or situations arise)
      • And we will do a couple of exercises, especially a grand finale exercise and then the exam.
voluntary transfers
Voluntary Transfers

A voluntary transaction is madefrom a person’s own free choiceand consent. There is no legalrequirement to do so.

involuntary transfers
Involuntary Transfers

An involuntary transactionis made without a person’sown free choiceand consent.

  • … is a claim against property.
  • There are two types:
    • • Liens for the collection of money
    • • Rights to use and control
staff title searches
Staff Title Searches

Taxing Authority Offices

Recording Offices

• Indexed by Name

• Indexed by Documents

• Indexed by Location

Court Records

title checking 1
Title Checking(1)

Step One: Have the name of one of the property owners in the chain of title.

Step Two: Have the property description.

Step Three: Go to the office that records deeds in the jurisdiction where the property is located.

title checking 2
Title Checking(2)

Step Four: Locate the owner’s name (which you already know) in the "Grantee" Deed Index Book. (The "Grantee" Deed Index Book lists conveyances alphabetically by Grantee name.)

Step Five: Determine the "Grantor's" name.

Step Six: Check the "Grantee" Deed Index Book for his/her name to determine who conveyed the property to him/her.

title checking 3
Title Checking(3)
  • Step Seven: Repeat the procedure to trace owners back for the required number of years.
  • Step Eight: Check each owner's name in the "Grantor" Deed Index Book for conveyances out, such as:

• Deeds of Trust/Mortgages

• Timber Rights Conveyances

• Sales of Partial Interests

• Easements

title checking 4
Title Checking(4)
  • Step Nine: Check each conveyance in the Deed Book for:
      • • Special Stipulations

• Reservations

• Life Estates

• Covenants

• Other

title checking 5
Title Checking(5)

Step Ten: Check each Deed of Trust or Mortgage for payment "Satisfaction”. Be certain that the loan instruments do not contain an "open-end" clause.

Step Eleven: Check for materialman's, laborer's, architect's, surveyor's, or engineer's liens.

title checking 6
Title Checking (6)

Step Twelve: Check each conveyanceto be certain that the description coversthe property being searched.

Step Thirteen: Check each conveyancefor proper signatures and witnesses.

title checking 7
Title Checking(7)
  • Step Fourteen: Check plats (usually in separate Plat Books) mentioned in conveyances for:

• Property Description

• Covenants and Restrictions

• Building Restrictions

• Set-back Requirements

• Dedication and Acceptance of Streets

• Other Encumbrances

title checking 8
Title Checking(8)

Step Fifteen: Check the Lis Pendens Docket for any lawsuits pending which would affect title to the property.

Step Sixteen: Check General Execution Docket for judgments or liens against the property.

Step Seventeen: Check Homestead Exemption and Attachment Docket.

title checking 9
Title Checking(9)

Step Eighteen: Check Federal Tax Lien Book.

Step Nineteen: Check Divorce and Suit Docket.

Step Twenty: Check Mortgage Book.

Step Twenty-one: Check Lease Book.

Step Twenty-two: Check Motor Vehicle Bond Book.

title checking 10
Title Checking(10)
  • Step Twenty-three: Check Office of the Ordinary (Judge of Probate Court) for:
    • •Probation of Wills

•Year's Support

•Administration of Estates

•Lunacies, Incompetents

title checking 11
Title Checking(11)

Step Twenty-four:Check Assessment Dockets for:Street paving, sewer, water, or other assessments.

Step Twenty-five: Check Tax Records back seven years for unpaid taxes.

title checking 12
Title Checking(12)
  • Step Twenty-six: Determine if anyoneother than the owner is in possession ofthe property. If so, he/she is assumedto have some rights. These rights mustbe determined.
what ifs
What Ifs...
  • WHAT IF… (divorce actions)?
  • WHAT IF… (encroachments)?
  • WHAT IF… (Death of an owner)?
  • WHAT IF… (Misrepresentations)?
  • WHAT IF… (Leasehold interests)?
objectives right now you should be able to
ObjectivesRight now, you should be able to...

• Accurately determine current title conditions.

• Have knowledge to acquire title sufficient to satisfy the requirements of employers.


Thank you!

801-PT – Revision 2 – 07.10.06.USA