deed index

If you have the basics of deed research down, you have a general idea of how to use deed indexes to find property records (if you don’t, visit our post here.)

Did you know that deed indexes give references to records other than deeds? If you look at the column labeled “Nature of Instrument” in the photo above, you’ll see a variety of entries in abbreviated form. Each is a type of record related to a deed, and they are recorded within the deed record series.

Here are the abbreviations, what they stand for, and what they document.

D/T – Deed of Trust – A deed of trust is an agreement between a home buyer and a lender at the closing of a property. The agreement states that the home buyer will repay the home loan and the mortgage lender will hold the property’s legal title until the loan is paid in full.

Rel – Release – A deed of release is a legal document that removes a previous claim on an asset. It provides documentation of release from a binding agreement. A deed of release might be included when a lender transfers the title of real estate to the homeowner upon satisfaction of the mortgage.

Transf – Transfer – A deed of transfer is a legal document that indicates the transfer of a property from one person to another. It also indicates the chain of owners. It serves as proof of ownership of the property.

Ext – Extension – An extension agreement is an agreement where the parties decide to change the end date of the original contract.

M/L (or Mchs Lien) – Mechanics Lien – A mechanic’s lien is a guarantee of payment to builders, contractors, and construction firms that build or repair structures.

QC – Quitclaim – A quitclaim deed form is a specific type of deed that releases whatever interest is owned by the person signing the deed. The person that signs the deed does not guarantee that he or she owns or has clear title to the real estate described in the deed.

Chat Mtge – Chattel Mortgage – A chattel mortgage is a loan for a manufactured home or other movable piece of personal property, such as machinery or a vehicle.

P/Atty – Power of Attorney – A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the legal power to act on your behalf. In the case of deed records, the Power of Attorney allows one’s agent to sign a deed for a property.

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