A property abstract catalogues, in chronological fashion, all legal documents pertaining to a parcel of land. Included are references to deeds, mortgages, wills, probate records, court litigation, and tax sales–the essential legal proceedings that affect property ownership. The abstract reveals the names of all people who have owned the property, how long each owner had it, and how much it sold for when it changed hands. Only rarely, however, does it mention buildings or capital improvements to the property. The abstract is a good starting place for research of a historic building because it deals with real property and not specifically the buildings and other improvements. The abstract also confirms that there are no outstanding liens or back taxes. An abstract is a complete record or transcript of all documents filed of public record affecting title to a certain real property.  It must be certified by a licensed and bonded abstractor to a particular date and time.  Smith Brothers Abstract is bonded and regulated by the Auditor and Inspector’s Office of the State of Oklahoma.  It is important to note that in Oklahoma, no title policy may be issued without first having a currently certified abstract examined by a licensed Oklahoma attorney. When property is sold or mortgaged the lending institution or new owner wants to be sure the title is clear.  If the title isn’t clear the lending institution may not be able to foreclose, if need be.  An attorney or title insurance firm is hired to review the abstract.  This is done by following the various lines of ownership from person to person and deed to deed over the years, matching mortgages with releases, etc.  A “Title Opinion” concludes who owns the land and what liens or encumbrances are still valid and in force

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