Abstractor/Title Specialist

Overview of Duties:

  • Determines from county records the current ownership and legal description of land required for a project
  • Searches property records for conveyances, liens and other instruments
  • Plots the legal descriptions, including metes and bounds
  • Compiles complete abstract of title from patent to current date
  • Identifies title defects and reports these to Field Right of Way Supervisor or client’s legal counsel
  • Recommends and, if instructed, implements title curative actions
  • Assists in easement preparation
  • Prepares final report of all records compiled showing title to property and effects of liens and encumbrances on titles

Specialized knowledge/education required:

  • Training conducted by authorized title company
  • Detailed knowledge of researching public and title company records
  • Ability to compile and prepare chains of title, make abstracts of title with summaries of all matters and instruments of record
  • Analysis of title data and reports
  • Interpret deeds, leases, court actions, probates, other documents impacting property ownership
  • Knowledge and understanding of the legal standards of title for each state in which the Abstractor/Title Specialist is performing ownership research
Abstractors/Title Specialists are required to have specific training in title investigation, provided by various entities, including specialized title training schools, abstract companies, the International Right of Way Association and some universities. They must be able to work independently and make decisions regarding the quality, amount and accuracy of the information they are researching as well as deciding what method is the most efficient and economical to produce the necessary information.

Abstractors/Title Specialists employed by Coates usually have been employed by title companies, county offices or real estate companies. They are required to have several years of experience and pass a test that measures their competence.

Abstractors/Title Specialists must have a highly developed skill in analyzing, interpreting and assimilating complex information from sources ranging from sophisticated electronic systems to handwritten records that date back to the 1700s. They must also be able to adhere to deadlines, travel to remote locations, learn different courthouse systems and maintain detailed records.


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