What to Expect When You’re Doing Business in an Abstract State

This Fall CRES Title Department Manager Tina Costello wrote an article in the REOMAC Update. Tina is a CELA Award winner and has over 18 years of title expertise.


In the article Tina answers:

What exactly are abstracts?

Abstracts are a full and complete documentation of all matters filed of public record that affect ownership rights to a particular piece of property. They are the compilation of documents from when a property was first curated through the current date.


Which states require Abstracts?

Oklahoma, Iowa and certain areas within the Dakotas.


What is involved in compiling an abstract?

abstracts require meticulous research and have to be completely built from original sources that can only be found in places such as the city or county courthouse or the office of the Recorder of Deeds. And, unlike traditional title commitments which are 3 – 5 pages long, finished abstracts can easily be four inches thick! Abstracts can only be done by an abstracting company that is licensed in the specific county within a state. There are stringent rules about who can be certified as an abstractor and it’s not easy to become one. The finished compilation is not a simplified report providing the names, dates, amounts, etc., of the pertinent documents. It is a full “abstract” or summary of each document in the chain—at least one page for each document.


To read the article click here.