Chain of Title


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Chain of Title

A list of successive owners of a parcel of land, beginning from the government, or original owner, to the person who currently owns the land.

To show that a title to a piece of land is a marketable title and is free to transfer, a person must know who had ownership of the land at any point in time. In addition, the seller should be able to trace the way in which each person came into the chain of title. An Abstract of Title contains a condensed history of the title to a piece of land in addition to a summary of conveyances. This history appears on public record so that title to land can be checked.

chain of title

n. the succession of title ownership to real property from the present owner back to the original owner at some distant time. Chains of title include notations of deeds, judgments of distribution from estates, certificates of death of a joint tenant, foreclosures, judgments of quiet title (lawsuit to prove one's right to property title) and other recorded transfers (conveyances) of title to real property. Usually title companies or abstractors are the professionals who search out the chain of title and provide a report so that a purchaser will be sure the title is clear of any claims. (See: title, foreclosure)

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The recorded chain of title documents (deeds, easements, restrictions and covenants and leases for a 50-year period).
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Some public records are relatively easy to discern, like matters in a property's chain of title.
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