abstract of title
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abstract of title,in law, brief history of the title to a piece of land. An account is given of recorded documents, court proceedings, willswill,
in law, document expressing the wishes of a person (known as a testator) concerning the disposition of her property after her death. If a person dies intestate, i.e.
..... Click the link for more information. , mortgagesmortgage,
in law, device for protecting a creditor by giving him an interest in property of his debtor. In common law a mortgage was a conditional sale; i.e., the mortgagor (debtor) sold realty (real property mortgage) or personal property (chattel mortgage), but if the debtor
..... Click the link for more information. , taxes, previous sales, easementseasement,
in law, the right to use the land of another for a specified purpose, as distinguished from the right to possess that land. If the easement benefits the holder personally and is not associated with any land he owns, it is an easement in gross (e.g.
..... Click the link for more information. , and all other factors that at any time affected the ownership or use of the land. The old rule in England required that an abstract of title should cover the 60 years before the proposed sale. In 1874 this was changed to 40 years. In some U.S. states the title is traced back to the original grant from the government, but in others it is traced only so far back as is necessary to show a present clear title.
abstract of title
An outline history of the ownership of a parcel of land, from the original grant, with changes in title, and with a statement of all mortgages, liens, encumbrances, etc., affecting the property.