Hello, this is Dave from titlesearch.com, and welcome to another informative session from AFX Title. In today’s video, we’ll delve into the most common questions surrounding title searches. Let’s jump right into it with a breakdown of the top inquiries, numbered one through five.

1. How Far Back Does a Title Search Go?

One of the most frequently asked questions is about the temporal scope of a title search. Typically, title searches can span any number of years necessary. The prevailing type is the O&E search (Owner and Encumbrance), extending back to the point when the current owner acquired the property. This approach aims to clear any prior liens or mortgages. While the common practice is to align the search with the current ownership period, some clients may require searches reaching back several decades or even centuries, depending on their specific needs.

2. How is a Title Search Performed?

A title search is a meticulous process involving the retrieval of hard-copy records from land records offices. This in-person, 7 to 9 man-hour endeavor involves extracting documents from various courthouses and sources. Subsequently, the collected documents are analyzed and distilled into a certified title abstract, an official document created by the title examiner. This abstract is not part of public records but serves as a comprehensive summary of the property’s title history.

3. Residential vs. Commercial Property Title Searches

Yes, there is a distinction between residential and commercial property title searches. Commercial properties, often owned by corporations, introduce complexities like varied corporate names and additional records like UCC filings and leasehold interests. To ensure thorough searches, it is essential to engage a commercially trained and certified examiner when dealing with commercial properties.

4. What is a Certified Title Search?

A certified title search is conducted by an examiner or abstractor certified by organizations like NCA or ALTA. This certification ensures adherence to industry standards, best practices, and ethical guidelines. It guarantees a meticulous examination of all relevant records, providing clients with accurate and reliable information about the property’s title history.

5. Online Title Searches: Are They Reliable?

While online platforms may offer glimpses of records, they pose inherent risks. These records, often incomplete, may lack all pages of a document or not include all necessary sources. Critical information may be missed, potentially leading to issues in the future. For critical uses, it is advised to rely on certified title abstracts prepared by experienced examiners rather than solely relying on online records.

What Do You Get When You Order a Title Search?

Upon ordering a title search, you receive a certified title abstract, a comprehensive summary prepared by a title examiner. This certified document is not part of public records and is crucial for various purposes, including court cases and SBA title records. A full search may also include copies of underlying documents such as liens and mortgages.

For further inquiries or detailed explanations beyond these questions, feel free to reach out to us at titlesearch.com. Our website hosts a wealth of information, with over 400 videos covering different aspects of title searches and various types of records. We’re here to assist you in understanding the nuances of title searches.