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Property Record Search - Public Records Can Offer Profit and Protection

Many realty buyers and sellers don't think of local public records as a source of profit opportunities. Nor do most property owners realize the protection the recording system provides.  But, doing a property record search can offer the advantage of both.

For example, investors in discounted mortgages probe recently recorded loans carried back by property sellers. By contacting these often reluctant lenders, investors buy these loans at a discount from the face value, often producing yields of 20 percent or higher.

Another property record search profit opportunity exists in the local tax collector's office. By checking for unpaid property taxes, investors often locate owners who plan to sell, sometimes at wholesale below-market prices.

But the public records search can also protect property owners and lenders with a reliable system for determining the status of the title and the priority of liens. Because of  the technology of computers, many public property records are now automated to make title searching easy and accurate.

Every city or county has an office where property deeds are recorded. This can be called the recorder office, the registrar of deed, county clerk office, or other similar name. When a property deed, mortgage, judgment lien, mechanics lien, income tax lien, or other legal document is recorded, it affects the property's title status.

To illustrate, suppose you buy a property and receive a deed from the seller. Of course, the seller's signature must be witnessed by a notary public before the document is eligible for recording. But if you don't record your deed promptly, and the devious seller conveys the same property to me and I  record my deed quickly, if I had no knowledge of your prior deed, the recording laws show ownership to me. You have nothing but a claim against the unscrupulous seller.

In addition to the recording protections, public records offer money making opportunities to investors willing to do property record searches. As discussed earlier, this could be done by getting in touch with owners who have unpaid property taxes and also offer to buy cheaper mortgages from sellers who had back financing.

Other money making profit opportunities are allowed when a borrower fails to pay on a mortgage and the lender makes a notice of default. This begins the foreclosure process, leading up to a foreclosure sale. Before the auction takes place, sharp investors often contact the defaulting owner about buying the property or loaning money to cure the default.

Another money making profit opportunity occurs after the foreclosure if no one made a bid. Then the property is deeded to the lender who did the foreclosure who often wants to sell the property at a cheap price.

By doing a property record search, investors find more opportunities than they can handle. These benefits are created by the recording system which not only protects property owners but also creates investment opportunities.

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