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What is chain of title? Kiritsis Law Group 212 922 0005

May 13, 2021

By: John Kiritsis, Esq., CPA, MBA, MS, JD, LL.M

Generally, it refers to the Grantor-Grantee series (chain) of transactions based on land record evidence. In simpler terms, it is the historical sequence of a real property’s title transfers. It is a good way to help determine the current ownership of certain real property, through establishment of the real property’s historical ownership. There may be situations, where it may be hard or impossible to establish a clear and unambiguous chain of title. Establishing a clear and incontrovertible chain of title, in a certain property, may be a major milestone in reassuring a title company to give a clear opinion and/or insuring the property. An investigation on a property’s chain of title, usually involves a search for potentially wild deeds (deeds that break from the succession chain of the title). An inherent problem with chain of title investigations, is that land is very old (in many cases it has existed since the beginning of earth); this presents a dilemma over how far back to go and investigate the chain of title. Usually, the legislature, courts, and/or industry practices will dictate and/or at least guide how far back a chain of title investigation should go. Another problem with chain of title investigation is that they often fail to spot secret deeds which have delivered not been recorded anywhere.

 

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