Consulting Jobs: Title Searchers and Examiners

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Consultant jobs have been the nature of the title searchers and examiners, especially when a client approaches them for any real property-related concern. In fact, they conduct searches of public and private records to determine the legal title of ownership for a piece of real estate. A person who owns real estate has many options in improving his/ her investment. To do anything with the land - mortgage it, sell it, build on it, or even give it away - the person’s complete or partial ownership to the land must be proven and documented. This ownership is known as a title. This, however, is not an easy task. Land changes hands so frequently that often questions arise as to who is really the rightful owner of the property.

In the United States, most major real estate dealings are publicly recorded, usually with the country recorder or registrar. This system began in colonial Massachusetts and has spread throughout the rest of the country, giving us a unique method for keeping track of real estate transactions. In some areas of the country, a title can be traced as far back as 200 years or more. Over that length of time, a parcel of land may have been in the hands of many different owners. Large pieces of land can be sectioned into smaller parcels, and certain rights, such as the right to mine beneath a property or run roads and irrigation ditches over it, can be sold or leased separately from the land itself. Official records can become confused, contradictory, or incomplete. Because of the profitability of the real estate business, many new methods of leasing and selling property are certain to be devised in the future, making the asking of identifying proper ownership even more complicated and important.

Clients hire title searchers and examiners to make consulting jobs on certain ownership of all parts and privileges of a piece of property. The client may need to have these questions answered for many reasons: in addition to land sales and purchases, a lawyer might need a title search to fulfill the terms of someone’s will, a bank might need it to repossess property used as collateral on a loan, a company might need it when acquiring or merging with another company, or an accountant might need it when preparing tax returns. The work of the title searcher is the first step in the process. When a request for a title search is received, the title searcher first determines the type of title evidence that will have to be gathered, the purpose for which it will be used, the people involved, and the legal description of the property. The searcher then compares this description with the legal description contained in public and private records to verify such factors as the deed of ownership, tax codes, tax parcel number, and description of property boundaries.

In his consultant careers, the task can take title searchers to a variety of places, including the offices of the county tax assessor, the recorder or registrar of deeds, the clerk of the city or state court, and other city, country, and state officials. Title searchers consult legal records, surveyor’s maps, and tax rolls. The clients who hire title searchers may also keep records called indexes. These indexes are kept up to date for use by their own staff and outside searchers, and contain important information on mortgages, deeds, contracts, and judgments. For example, a law firm specializing in real estate and contract law would probably keep extensive indexes, using information gathered both in its own work and from outside sources.

As the title searcher examines the legal documents, the important information is recorded on a standardized work sheet. This information can include judgments, deeds, mortgages (loans made using the property as collateral), liens (charges against the property when it has been used as for the payment of a debt), taxes, and special assessments for streets and sewers, and easements. The searcher must also carefully record from which records this information is taken, where they are located, the date on which any action took place, and the names and addresses of the people involved.

Using the data gathered by the title searcher, the title examiner’s consultant job determines the legal condition of the property title. Title examiners will study all the relevant documents for a property to determine the chain of ownership, plus records of marriages, births, divorces, adoptions, and other important legal proceedings. To verify certain facts, they may need to interview judges, clerks, lawyers, bankers, real estate brokers, and other professional people. They may also summarize the legal documents they have found and used, and apply these abstracts as references in later work.

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