Title Tips: Mapping Departments and Reappraisal Departments

The Mapping Departments and Reappraisal Departments often contain a wealth of information on property report cards.   The information included on the cards can be helpful when there are title gaps and missing interests and/or information about deaths, contracts for deed, or lease sales contracts.   Often if there are mapping issues, the mapper will make notes on the cards that alert to possible issues or issues that have been rendered.  The mapping cards are my first go-to when I run into problems.  They can also be very helpful in getting the chain of title established.

Some courthouses have done wonderful jobs in preserving their old index books pertaining to metes and bounds and sections, townships, and ranges along with their subdivisions.  And in a few courthouses, such as Franklin County Alabama, those are still accessible in the basement of the courthouse.   When I first began title research in the mid-90s, using these books and maps were vital to research.  Sadly, over the years, some courthouses, did not realize the volume of importance of those books held and they have been discarded.  So much information and history has been lost when this occurs.

Above all, the clerks in Mapping, Assessment, Collections at the courthouse, who have worked for decades, who know their jobs and their county very well, are very insightful at answering questions.  Never be embarrassed or afraid to ask questions, to seek help, when the title work just is not coming together as it should.

Last but certainly not least, seek the opinions and guidance of your Underwriting team because they are there to help you provide the best product for your client.

By: Jonna Devaney, North Alabama Abstract & Guaranty, Tuscumbia

Related Articles