Direct Search vs. Title Plant
February 2, 2017
Morning All, the last couple of days we have been talking about abstracting via the direct search and examination of the public records and it requires a highly skilled and experienced searcher who must rely on instinct and well as expertise. Today we are going to discuss title searching and abstracting from a title plant. This is another one of those terms that I had heard for years but has no clue what an title plant actually was. It was on a trip to Texas, that I asked why, what’s the advantage? The owner of the plant said “first and foremost in Texas it’s the law and second it simplifies the process”, I was now very interested, did he just say simplify? Having spent virtually my whole career learning my craft via the direct search, alphabetical family name index method a title plant seemed like a foreign language.
The main difference most title plants are organized with a geographical index of all recorded instruments rather than the alphabetical family name indexes. The title plant gathers all the information from the various sources, assessor, courts and the recorder and organizes it according to land description. Meaning you search the tract index, and everything relating to that tract of land is there right in front of you in chronological recording date order. It doesn’t matter who sold to who, how names were spelled – if an instrument relates to specific land, it is indexed under that land, all and searcher has to do is copy it from the tract book. (I think I hear harp music) The plants do have a name index and in it all the items which do not specifically describe the land, but affect the title of a particular owner, for example powers of attorney, affidavits, and judgements.
As you can see can be quite an advantage to searching titles via a title plant and now you must be thinking so where are these wonderful title plants? Title plants are becoming available in more and more places but generally speaking they are out west say Texas to California, the Eastern seaboard and deep south still use the alphabetical family name index method. There ya have it, happy hunting everyone.