The Title Plant
The Title Plant at Leon County Abstract is over 100 years old and contains all the records from the County Clerk's Office. Many Oil and Gas Researchers use our plant to research title to minerals and the land in order to lease the minerals from the rightful owner.
In the year 2000, we instituted a Computerized Data System that allows us to quickly and more efficiently search the title to the property. This, in turn, allows us to help you make the purchase or sale of your land faster!! To date, our records now contain all images indexed with no skips from 1999 through the present. We also now have the courthouse index and images that go back as far as 1925. You can search all the way to 1925 and look at the images without even leaving our computer!
Shoot from the Hip Definitions
Owner's Policy of Title Insurance ~ It's a policy of insurance, not a title search. It's not a guaranteed title, even if it is from a title company called "Guarantee" Title. It's not an examination of the mineral title - don't count on it for that! It's just an insurance policy. It covers legal defense costs and will pay you your per acre cost in the event that you lose the property or any part of it. You've got to have it, though, because there are so many traps in buying land!
Mortgagee Policy of Title Insurance ~ Insures a lender that the lien securing payment of a promissory note is a first lien. Second a subordinate liens are not much good because they can be "cut off" if the first lien is foreclosed.
Deed ~ The written instrument which conveys land. It can contain covenants of general warranty, special warranty, and no covenant of warranty. This document must be prepared by a lawyer, NOT by a Title Company!
Quitclaim ~ This is not a Deed. It doesn't convey land. Don't take a quitclaim - get a deed without warranty.
Deed of Trust ~ This, also, is not a Deed. It's what a mortgage is called in Texas.
Contract for Deed, also known as a Contract for Sale ~ This is often done when a "Developer" buys a large piece of land, makes a large loan and then sells the little pieces off and doesn't pay the loan off. You buy these small pieces of land on a Contract for Deed in which you owe the "Developer". You pay him, he pays the lender. Problem: If he doesn't pay his lender and his lender forecloses, you are "cut off" and will lose everything. Take care when participating in these type of transactions.
Escrow and Closing ~ Settlement of all funds at closing. All costs are presented to you on a Settlement Statement in conformance with the Earnest Money Contract. When everyone signs, the money is disbursed to the parties according to the Settlement Statement.
Earnest Money Contract ~ You enter a Contract with the seller and put up some portion of the purchase price as earnest money, to bind the sale. If you default, the seller can keep the earnest money as damages or sue you for performance.