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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. If parts of the original parcel of land have been sold or otherwise conveyed, the documents transferring ownership are included in the abstract. The practice of creating a new abstract each time there is a transfer of ownership has been replaced by the performance of title searches using the county’s land records.
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, problems may arise in the subsequent transfer of title, or if the bank needs to foreclose on the property. An attorney or title insurance firm is hired to review the abstract, following the various lines of ownership from person to person and deed to deed over the years, matching mortgages with releases, and so on.
Torrens is a system for registration of land under which, upon the landowner's application and appropriate proceedings, the court may direct the issuance of a Certificate of Title. The Certificate of Title is kept in the office of the Registrar of Titles and is evidence of ownership for Torrens property.
Registrar of Titles
In Minnesota, the County Recorder is the Registrar of Titles and is under the supervision of the district court. The Registrar must examine documents presented and determine that they meet the statutory requirements to transfer the property and issue certificates of title.
The Registrar works closely with the Examiner of Titles. who is appointed by the court and is an adviser to the Registrar of Titles.