An abstract of title is different from other types of title related products. It is also distinguishable from an attorney’s opinion of title and a chain of title. An abstract of title is the condensed history of the title on a specified parcel of real estate. It consists of a summary of all recorded documents and lists items such as the original acquisition deed, as well as all subsequent conveyances and encumbrances pertaining to that particular property. Some abstracts require a certification by the abstractor that verifies that the history of title is accurate and complete.
An opinion of title, on the other hand, is also occasionally required for an abstract. This opinion states the professional judgment of the attorney giving the opinion of the title, as well as matters concerning the chain of title.
Lastly, a chain of title consists of the sequential history of all transfers concerning the property. This includes any voluntary liens, easements or covenants. The chain of title starts with the present owner and traces the ownership back to the original owner of the property, which can often be a patent deed from the United States of America.