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What is a Chain of Title?

The history of ownership of a piece of property is referred to as the Chain of Title. Titles are typically registered for land and real estate, personal property (such as a vehicle), or businesses. Normally, titles are registered and maintained with a centralized registry or authority agency. The chain of title follows the history of ownership from the present owner to the original owner. It is critical to keep meticulous and correct title documents in order to establish ownership of land or an asset.

In real estate, a chain of title is extremely important. A title company researches the chain of title on behalf of the buyer in a real estate transaction, summarizing all title transfers and encumbrances in a title report. Buyers get title insurance to safeguard themselves against financial loss caused by inaccuracies in the title report.

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