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Chain Of Title Related words: abstract of title, recording The recorded history of matters that affect the title

to a specific parcel of real property, such as ownership, encumbrances, and liens, usually beginning with the original recorded source of the title. The chain of title shows the successive changes of ownership, each one linked to the next so that a chain is formed. Ownership of a particular property frequently passes through many hands subsequent to the original grant. If any link is broken in a propertys chain of title, then the current owner does not have valid title to the property. For example, if a forged deed were somewhere in the chain, then no subsequent grantee would have acquired legal title to the property. An abstracter searches and notes the chain of title (also called running the chain of title) in an examination of the title at the office of the county recorder or clerk, tracing the title from the original grant up to the present ownership. In the United States, chains of title in colonial states frequently date back to a grant from the King of England. In those states admitted to the Union after the formation of the United States, the deeds of conveyance in chains of title generally stem from the patent issued by the United States Government. In a few states, such as Louisiana and Texas, chains of title generally date back to a point before acquisition of the land by the federal government. To be within the unbroken chain of title, the instrument must be discoverable or traceable through linking conveyances from the present owner through successive owners to a common grantor. If not, a gap exists in the chain, creating a cloud on the title. In these cases, it is usually necessary to establish ownership by a court action called a suit to quiet title. All documents recorded in the chain of title give constructive notice to everyone of the document and its contents. However, if a document is not recorded in the chain of title, so that even a diligent search using the grantor-grantee index will not reveal its presence, then there is no constructive notice given of the existence of the unrecorded document. A deed not properly recorded is said to be a wild deed and is not valid against a subsequent recorded deed to a goodfaith purchaser. In practice, abstracters rarely search back more than 60 years. Some states have adopted a Marketable Title Act that extinguishes certain interests and cures certain title defects that arose before the root of title was recorded. The root of title is the most recent conveyance (deed, court decree) that furnishes a basis for title marketability and has been of record for 40 years or more. Other chain of title problems arise when a person acquires title using one name and then conveys the property under another name. In such cases, the grantor should indicate the name by which he or she acquired title; for example, Sally Hines, who acquired title as Sally Fromm. Because of the importance of the chain of title, it is necessary that the parties names be consistent and spelled out properly in all documents.

Chain of Title Law & Legal Definition Chain of title refers to the history of passing of title ownership to real property from the present owner back to the original owner. A registry office or civil law notary may maintain a record of title documents. Chains of title include notations of deeds, judgments of distribution from estates, certificates of death of a joint tenant, foreclosures, judgments of quiet title, and other recorded transfers of title to real property. Before purchasing property, the purchaser will usually hire a title companies or abstractors to search out the chain of title and provide a report so that a purchaser will be assured the title is clear of any claims. In many real estate transactions, insurance companies issue title insurance based upon the chain of title to the property when it is transferred. Civil Causes of Action Quiet Title Law & Legal Definition Title is the sum total of legally recognized rights to the possession and ownership of property. In the case of real property, an action to confirm title sometimes referred to as an action to "quiet title" may be brought to affirm ownership of the property when others claim an interest in such property. This is often seen in relation to back tax liens or liens or easements (rights of way) on the property. An action to quiet title is generally initiated by filing a complaint to quiet title in the court with jurisdiction over the property. Procedures for quieting title vary by state and according to the parties involved and type of claim on the property. Local law should be consulted for the specific requirements in your area. A quiet title action is filed by a person or entity claiming title to all or a portion of a specific parcel of property and asks for a ruling that plaintiffs title is superior to any interest held or claimed by any of the named defendants. It is a mechanism to cure defects in the title to property, thereby providing assurance to the owner who brings the action, as well as subsequent purchasers, of the status of title and accuracy of the real property records. Reliability of real property records in the U.S. are higher than in most other countries because of quiet title actions, strict recording requirements and the involvement of title insurance companies. A quiet title action is often brought against both known and unknown parties. Known parties are those having some record interest in title or having possession of the property. Also, unknown parties may be named and served by publication in order to terminate potential claims. Unknown parties are those who may claim an interest in the property derivative of the named parties or as a result of the subject matter of the action. The following is an example of a state statute governing quiet title actions: "65.031 Real estate; removing clouds; plaintiffs.--An action in chancery for quieting title to, or clearing a cloud from, land may be maintained in the name of the owner or of any prior owner who warranted the title. All lands, the title to which is subject to a common defect, may be embraced in one action irrespective of the number of existing legal or equitable owners."