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When there is a change of ownership of real estate, the purchase of a house, for example, the law requires the owner to register said document in the public registry (in some countries). The registered document offers legal certainty that the sale is made by the property owner.
This record also lets you know if the property is mortgaged or under embargo; When a document is registered, the responsible entity makes chronological entries in it, indicating the series of documents that affect or restrict it.
What is the property registration?
In most American states there are registration laws that serve two purposes.
- First: any interested party can get to know, through the Registry, whether or not the transferor owns the property.
- Second: the effectiveness of certain documents, with respect to third parties, depends on their being registered.
It is important that you know that property titles registered in the public registry will have priority over other documents not registered, or subsequently registered; this, in case there is a controversy regarding who is the real owner of the property.
When making a deed, the notary issues a certificate of the public record with the name of the owner, this, in addition to the indication of the lien on the property. A lien is a tax or tribute required for the use or disposition of a property.
The Investopedia.com site indicates that mortgages are also known as “property liens” or “property claims.” If the borrower stops paying the mortgage, the bank can execute it.
How to find the owner of a property?
Identifying the owner of a particular property can help you decide who to approach to deal with a sale; also to prevent you from being a victim of real estate scams. This is possible because real estate documents are public records, which are available in the courts of the counties or property tax divisions of your locality.
According to the institutional structure of your country, there is an office for the Registry of real estate, which aims to grant legal security to public and private properties.
Performing your own search to find an owner, using only your address is not easy but it is perfectly legal. There is a registry in each judicial district and the competition is strictly territorial; Detect how this works in your country. In general, the registration is done precisely in the Registry corresponding to the municipal term of the property situation.
You usually have two kinds of books:
- One, of inscriptions or transcription of the document presented
- And another, indexes. These are of various kinds: from sellers, mortgage creditors and mortgage debtors
A daily book is taken, the day, month, year, hour and minute of the presentation are recorded there.
Search the website of the courts of your city; If the address of the property you are looking for is within its limits, there you can search online in the properties directory.
But if the address is outside the boundaries of your city, you will need to visit the court website of the county or entity where you live. To do this, you must enter the address of the property in the corresponding field and thus obtain the contact information of the owner.
Another option, if there is no online directory available, is to visit the city courts in person; You can go to the public records office or the property tax division.
This option is also valid if you could not identify the property owner; Each office should give you the name and contact information of the owner.
A third option is to use a property search company or a title company in your area, which will help you find the most complicated owners.
A small company will be able to obtain archival data of the transactions made with the property, which you can use to find the most recent owner. These companies can perform a more extensive search to locate the owners, but their services can be expensive.
If the owner of the property you are looking for is in the United States, you can also search the land archives database of the Federal Land Administration Office of that country, where you can locate owners or federally transferred land since 1820, according to the library of the University of North Texas.