Free method for doing title search and checking liens/back taxes?

27 Replies

Free method for doing title search and checking liens/back taxes?

Each municipality will be a little different. You will have to call around to find how it is done in your city.

In mine, you can go to the Clerk of Court's office and do these searches on their terminals.  The mortgage books are there as well. There is a way to subscribe for a monthly fee, which is what title companies do in my area.

@Patrick Martone

Just like you, I had the same need for a website where I could do title research and check liens and records of properties.
While there are several paying website where you can get that info, it can very expensive very quickly to do get full property records.

Now here is the thing, liens, mortgage documents and deed are recorded by the clerk of the county where the property is located. Those properties records are public records you can have access if you go the County clerk's office. By law ( I believe), they have to make those records accessible to the public.

The good news is that some counties make those records freely available to any one over the Internet to take a look at.
Many counties still don't (which is very surprising in today's age).

So depending on the county you are interested, it might be a matter of just checking the county clerk's website.

The county of Monmouth in NJ for example has a website.
http://oprs.co.monmouth.nj.us/Oprs/clerk/ClerkHome...

With regards to property taxes, this is handled by municipalities.

To check the status of property taxes, you have to go to the website of the municipality.
Again, some towns have the information freely available for anyone to access on their  website.

Let me know if you need further info.

Patrice

Depends on the jurisdiction. Research what it would take to start a title abstracting business in your area. Access to public records is free... but the convenience of searching them online is not always free.

Our title company set us up with a web portal and a mobile app that has all this info. Can’t beat the price as well...free!

Somehow can’t go back to the above post.

It’s the Fidelity National Title app. Works across the country.

Originally posted by @Neal Collins :

Somehow can’t go back to the above post.

It’s the Fidelity National Title app. Works across the country.

You're saying Fidelity has an app that gives access to land records (every recorded instrument) in all 50 states? And your title company gave you access to all of this information for free? 

Come on.

@Tom Gimer I don’t know why that seems outlandish to you. I pull up the app, select the state and county I want, and then can search by address or owner name. It allows you to see the property type, zoning, beds, baths, previous sale dates, mortgage records, assessment data, and a host of other records. I can search properties by my location, take notes and pictures, search nearby properties, see neighborhood demographics and neighborhood school data. Works great and free. We also work with First American and they have a virtually identical app that also is an amazing free tool with the same data that works across the country.

Originally posted by @Neal Collins :

Tom Gimer I don’t know why that seems outlandish to you. I pull up the app, select the state and county I want, and then can search by address or owner name. It allows you to see the property type, zoning, beds, baths, previous sale dates, mortgage records, assessment data, and a host of other records. I can search properties by my location, take notes and pictures, search nearby properties, see neighborhood demographics and neighborhood school data. Works great and free. We also work with First American and they have a virtually identical app that also is an amazing free tool with the same data that works across the country.

We're talking about doing title searches. Pulling the current and prior deeds (dating back 100+ years) as well as current and prior mortgages, easements, rights of way, condo decs, judgments, mechanics liens, etc.

The fact that we have to hire title abstractors to do what you claim you're doing on a Fidelity app is what is surprising to me.

It sounds like you're talking about property info while I'm talking about land records. We'll see.

NETRONLINE has essentially the same....access to all county online records. Might have to hunt around like in the northwest where municipalities to property taxes and such.

Originally posted by @Patrice Penda :

@Patrick Martone

Just like you, I had the same need for a website where I could do title research and check liens and records of properties.
While there are several paying website where you can get that info, it can very expensive very quickly to do get full property records.

Now here is the thing, liens, mortgage documents and deed are recorded by the clerk of the county where the property is located. Those properties records are public records you can have access if you go the County clerk's office. By law ( I believe), they have to make those records accessible to the public.

The good news is that some counties make those records freely available to any one over the Internet to take a look at.
Many counties still don't (which is very surprising in today's age).

So depending on the county you are interested, it might be a matter of just checking the county clerk's website.

The county of Monmouth in NJ for example has a website.
http://oprs.co.monmouth.nj.us/Oprs/clerk/ClerkHome...

With regards to property taxes, this is handled by municipalities.

To check the status of property taxes, you have to go to the website of the municipality.
Again, some towns have the information freely available for anyone to access on their  website.

Let me know if you need further info.

Patrice

Patrice is my mothers name, great name. 

So I have been using the consolidated records section of this site for searching.I can't find any leins, mortgage info, or back tax info on these foreclosed properties. It just has assesed value and ownership info.

What do I use for instrument number, book number and page number? How would you utilize this site effectively?

 Thanks,

Pat

Originally posted by @Wayne Brooks :

NETRONLINE has essentially the same....access to all county online records. Might have to hunt around like in the northwest where municipalities to property taxes and such.

Is that the best source for doing your own title searches here in Palm Beach County?

Originally posted by @Patrick Martone :
Originally posted by @Patrice Penda:

@Patrick Martone

Just like you, I had the same need for a website where I could do title research and check liens and records of properties.
While there are several paying website where you can get that info, it can very expensive very quickly to do get full property records.

Now here is the thing, liens, mortgage documents and deed are recorded by the clerk of the county where the property is located. Those properties records are public records you can have access if you go the County clerk's office. By law ( I believe), they have to make those records accessible to the public.

The good news is that some counties make those records freely available to any one over the Internet to take a look at.
Many counties still don't (which is very surprising in today's age).

So depending on the county you are interested, it might be a matter of just checking the county clerk's website.

The county of Monmouth in NJ for example has a website.
http://oprs.co.monmouth.nj.us/Oprs/clerk/ClerkHome...

With regards to property taxes, this is handled by municipalities.

To check the status of property taxes, you have to go to the website of the municipality.
Again, some towns have the information freely available for anyone to access on their  website.

Let me know if you need further info.

Patrice

Patrice is my mothers name, great name. 

So I have been using the consolidated records section of this site for searching.I can't find any leins, mortgage info, or back tax info on these foreclosed properties. It just has assesed value and ownership info.

What do I use for instrument number, book number and page number? How would you utilize this site effectively?

 Thanks,

Pat

Hey Pat,

Which website link are you looking at precisely?
And I'll tell what key to use.

Originally posted by @Patrice Penda :
Originally posted by @Patrick Martone:
Originally posted by @Patrice Penda:

@Patrick Martone

Just like you, I had the same need for a website where I could do title research and check liens and records of properties.
While there are several paying website where you can get that info, it can very expensive very quickly to do get full property records.

Now here is the thing, liens, mortgage documents and deed are recorded by the clerk of the county where the property is located. Those properties records are public records you can have access if you go the County clerk's office. By law ( I believe), they have to make those records accessible to the public.

The good news is that some counties make those records freely available to any one over the Internet to take a look at.
Many counties still don't (which is very surprising in today's age).

So depending on the county you are interested, it might be a matter of just checking the county clerk's website.

The county of Monmouth in NJ for example has a website.
http://oprs.co.monmouth.nj.us/Oprs/clerk/ClerkHome...

With regards to property taxes, this is handled by municipalities.

To check the status of property taxes, you have to go to the website of the municipality.
Again, some towns have the information freely available for anyone to access on their  website.

Let me know if you need further info.

Patrice

Patrice is my mothers name, great name. 

So I have been using the consolidated records section of this site for searching.I can't find any leins, mortgage info, or back tax info on these foreclosed properties. It just has assesed value and ownership info.

What do I use for instrument number, book number and page number? How would you utilize this site effectively?

 Thanks,

Pat

Hey Pat,

Which website link are you looking at precisely?
And I'll tell what key to use.

 http://oprs.co.monmouth.nj.us/Oprs/index.aspx

I entered the address on the consolidated record search on the home page to find the owner. Then entered the owner's name in the property records link (which you sent me). 

Lets use 306 Deal Ave in Neptune, New Jersey as a sample. The owner name PLUMMER, CHRISTOPHER N SR 

Upon entering it in the property records, there are documents of mortgages aggreement and pending foreclosure (LIS PEDENS). 

I found this property on the sheriff site. I will be attending an auction Monday for practice. How would you use the info provided form the record search?

Originally posted by @Wayne Brooks :

NETRONLINE has essentially the same....access to all county online records. Might have to hunt around like in the northwest where municipalities to property taxes and such.

For the first state I selected -- Maryland -- land records access says it requires a subscription. Presumably it then takes you to mdlandrec.net which is a FREE source!

Unfortunately there is no "one stop shop" for US land records... may never happen.

Originally posted by @Patrick Martone :
Originally posted by @Patrice Penda:
Originally posted by @Patrick Martone:
Originally posted by @Patrice Penda:

@Patrick Martone

Just like you, I had the same need for a website where I could do title research and check liens and records of properties.
While there are several paying website where you can get that info, it can very expensive very quickly to do get full property records.

Now here is the thing, liens, mortgage documents and deed are recorded by the clerk of the county where the property is located. Those properties records are public records you can have access if you go the County clerk's office. By law ( I believe), they have to make those records accessible to the public.

The good news is that some counties make those records freely available to any one over the Internet to take a look at.
Many counties still don't (which is very surprising in today's age).

So depending on the county you are interested, it might be a matter of just checking the county clerk's website.

The county of Monmouth in NJ for example has a website.
http://oprs.co.monmouth.nj.us/Oprs/clerk/ClerkHome...

With regards to property taxes, this is handled by municipalities.

To check the status of property taxes, you have to go to the website of the municipality.
Again, some towns have the information freely available for anyone to access on their  website.

Let me know if you need further info.

Patrice

Patrice is my mothers name, great name. 

So I have been using the consolidated records section of this site for searching.I can't find any leins, mortgage info, or back tax info on these foreclosed properties. It just has assesed value and ownership info.

What do I use for instrument number, book number and page number? How would you utilize this site effectively?

 Thanks,

Pat

Hey Pat,

Which website link are you looking at precisely?
And I'll tell what key to use.

 http://oprs.co.monmouth.nj.us/Oprs/index.aspx

I entered the address on the consolidated record search on the home page to find the owner. Then entered the owner's name in the property records link (which you sent me). 

Lets use 306 Deal Ave in Neptune, New Jersey as a sample. The owner name PLUMMER, CHRISTOPHER N SR 

Upon entering it in the property records, there are documents of mortgages aggreement and pending foreclosure (LIS PEDENS). 

I found this property on the sheriff site. I will be attending an auction Monday for practice. How would you use the info provided form the record search?

First, it is important to stress that title research is a very tedious exercise and you want to make sure you know what to look for and correctly interpret the records at county clerk that you find.

The point of the exercise is to establish whether following a successful bid at the sheriff sales you'll get the title of the property free and clear.

And if you are not, you want to know what liabilities you'll be inheriting.

When looking at the records, you want to know what are all the liens attached to the property

If the lender foreclosing is the first position mortgage

Is there a tax lien (federal, municipal, etc.) attached to the property?

It is a detective exercise.

Hope it helps.

Let me know if you need further info

@Brian Garrett No, it just shows you the county online sites for different states.  Here you use the clerk of court Official Records search, and Tax Collector.

@patrick martone
Are you going to the auction in Freehold?

@Tom Gimer   what Neal is talking about is basic information us on the west coast get for free. .and those on the east coast cannot get as there is no customer service departments at attorney closing states. 

and your right these are not full blown title examinations but its enough to get you moving in the right direction and all the info I needed to buy trustee sales...  title and escrow is highly competitive in our market. So the way they get investors and MAINLY real estate agents is to offer all this info for free.

my go to title company right now is WFG and their title plant is in the Philippines.. our title records are all digitized no one goes to the court house anymore and has not for years and years.. I remember in CA title co's had digital records in early 80s  thereby making title abstractors put out of a job.. now the title co has a title plant in THEIR office and has complete records from each county they work.. so they do the searches in their offices. 

Title companies out our way also send a courier to our office to pick up checks and deliver checks or original docs etc.. They also courier all commission checks to the brokers.. and 99% of seller proceeds are wired.. no paper checks.  etc etc...

@Tom Gimer   and right now WFG is re configuring our computers because of all the wire fraud they sent in a computer expert to our office ( free of charge) and helped us get super secure .. customer service agent in our title companies is a very important position.. same thing in the land development department of our title company.. they do all our plat work.. coordinate with the cities.. get our subdivision through to final plat all for no charge.. we would be lost without them.. in turn of course they get all our escrows.. I can call Scott our guy and he will do all sorts of deep search for us for free..  If I have some doc that needs notarizing he will come to my office and do it.. when i have east coast closings.. they will do all those .. no appointment I just pop in with the docs they do all the notarizing and if its a big package I forward to them first they print them out on their big printer and they are sitting there waiting for me..  all free all without appointments I can just pop in.

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :

@Tom Gimer  and right now WFG is re configuring our computers because of all the wire fraud they sent in a computer expert to our office ( free of charge) and helped us get super secure .. customer service agent in our title companies is a very important position.. same thing in the land development department of our title company.. they do all our plat work.. coordinate with the cities.. get our subdivision through to final plat all for no charge.. we would be lost without them.. in turn of course they get all our escrows.. I can call Scott our guy and he will do all sorts of deep search for us for free..  If I have some doc that needs notarizing he will come to my office and do it.. when i have east coast closings.. they will do all those .. no appointment I just pop in with the docs they do all the notarizing and if its a big package I forward to them first they print them out on their big printer and they are sitting there waiting for me..  all free all without appointments I can just pop in.

Do you like WFG? We just added them as an underwriter.

As far as customer service, it does exist on the east coast! If you are a repeat customer (investor, agent, lender) you are definitely getting all sorts of value added services including legal advice/assistance.

Originally posted by @David Weintraub :

I’ll be at freehold auction Monday

Interesting thread

 See you there

Originally posted by @Corey Scott :

@patrick martone
Are you going to the auction in Freehold?

 Yes Sir, this will be a mock trial of sorts

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