3.2.2017 The French Arpent – Three’s a Charm!

Morning All, I hope everyone is well this morning, yesterday I did not get many responses to the French Arpent Challenge Part Deux,  well in fact I received none, and I blame myself. I am thinking my messaging may have been off so in an effort to clear things up a bit I will go over a few things. French land grants are common in the river parishes in Louisiana and the ability to convert arpents to feet makes things easier on you the abstractor. Yes I know there are a hundred apps for converting various measurements, but isn’t it more exciting to know why something is, rather just knowing it is? This information is not just for abstractors this is for everyone, everyone has the potential to be an abstractor, so please look it over you may find it interesting.

We know that an 1 arpent is equal to 192 feet with this information we can convert the following description to feet.

A certain lot of ground, situated in the Parish of St. James, State of Louisiana, on the right descending bank of the Mississippi River 60 miles above the City of New Orleans, fronting 2 arpents on the Mississippi River converging back to the 40 arpent line, and measuring 1 ½ arpents in the rear.

192 multiplied by 2 equals 384 feet

192 multiplied by 40 equals 7,680 feet

192 multiplied by 1.5 equals 288 feet

 

With this information our description now reads

 

A certain lot of ground, situated in the Parish of St. James, State of Louisiana, on the right descending bank of the Mississippi River 60 miles above the City of New Orleans, fronting 384 feet  on the Mississippi River converging back 7,680 feet, and measuring 288 feet in the rear.

 

Now lets try this one more time, lets convert the following descriptions to feet, and email me your responses. Remember this is practice no one will know if you are wrong or have a question but me. I am wrong and have questions all the time so no ego here, I just want to pass along information that way we all get better at what we do.

 

 

Commencing at the Section corner common to Sections 15, 16 and 19 proceed west a distance of 5 arpents  with the common line between Sections 16 and 19 to the Point of Beginning, thence South of 6 ½ arpents to a point, thence West a distance of 1 ½ arpents to a point, thence North 6 ½ arpents to a point, thence East 1 ½ arpents to the point of beginning.

3.1.2017 French Arpent Challenge Part Deux!!

Morning All, I want to congratulate one person for being brave enough to take the French Arpent Challenge, thank you Rodney Curole, Jr. for taking the time to answer yesterday’s trivia question. The question posed was if an arpent is 192 feet, how far would the 80 Arpent Road in Marrero be from the river? The Answer is approximately 15,360 feet! If you multiply 192 x 80 you get 15,360, with this knowledge you can now convert arpents to feet. Why is this important, you ask? Well in Louisiana along the river parishes many of the descriptions start out as being measured in arpents and later become feet, if you don’t know how to convert you can be left scratching your head as to what property you were supposed to be searching. Now with this information in mind I again throw out a challenge, are you willing to try??

 

Convert the description below to feet, please.

 

A certain lot of ground, situated in the Parish of St. James, State of Louisiana, on the right descending bank of the Mississippi River 60 miles above the City of New Orleans, fronting 2 arpents on the Mississippi River converging back to the 40 arpent line, and measuring 1 and 1/2 arpents in the rear.

 

Email me your descriptions.

2.28.2017 The French Arpent

We have talked about the regular and irregular sections, today we will talk about the arpent. This information is taken directly from Wikipedia which my daughter tells me we are never to rely on, but I figure we are not doing a research paper we are reading trivia, so we are good. Lol An arpent is a unit of length and a unit of area. It is French and based of the Roman actus. Is used in Quebec as well as in some areas of the United States that were part of French Louisiana.

 

When used as a unit of length there were various standard arpents, the most common was the arpent used in North America. In Louisiana we say that 1 arpent equals 192 feet.

 

  • In North America, 1 arpent = 180 French feet = about 192 English feet = about 58.47 metres
  • In Paris, 1 arpent = 220 French feet = about 234 English feet = about 71.46 metres

Here in Louisiana, parcels of land known as arpent sections or French Arpent land grants pre-date the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), but are treated as PLSS sections.For more information on the PLSS see Daily Did ya Know from February 22. An arpent is a French measurement of approximately 192 feet (59 m), and a square arpent (also referred to as an arpent) is about 0.84 acres (3,400 m2).

French arpent land divisions are long narrow parcels of land usually found along the navigable streams of southern Louisiana, and also found along major waterways in other areas. This system of land subdivision was begun by French settlers in the 18th century, according to typical French practice at the time and was continued by both the Spanish and by the American government after the acquisition of the Louisiana Purchase. A typical French arpent land division is 2 to 4 arpents wide along the river by 40 to 60 arpents deep, while the Spanish arpent land divisions tend to be 6 to 8 arpents wide by 40 arpents deep.

 

This method of land division provided each land-owner with river frontage as well as land suitable for cultivation and habitation. These areas are given numbers just like standard sections, although the section numbers frequently exceed the normal upper limit of 36.

 

So, now you all know that the french arpent is 192 feet in length, 80 Arpent Road in Marrero would be how many feet from the river??? Anyone? Email me your answers

 

FRENCH

2.27.2017 Happy “Tell a Fairy Tale” Day!! – A Happily Ever After Story

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend to start off this week I thought we would celebrate National Tell a Fairy Tale Day which was technically yesterday but what the heck! National Tell a Fairy Tale Day is always celebrated on February 26 and it’s a great opportunity to read a good fairy tale. This tale has been circulating for many years in the title world, and some of you may have already read it, but I thought share it once again. To qualify as a fairy tale, a story does not have to begin with “Once upon a time…”, but they usually do. It is a requirement that the story has a happy ending so without further ado I present to you, A Louisiana Lawyer and the Tale of the FHA Loan. Enjoy!

 

Once upon a time…..

 

A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the Lawyer three months to track down. After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply:

(Actual letter)

 

“Upon review of your letter adjoining your client’s loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin.”

 

Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows (actual letter):

 

“Your letter regarding title in Case No. 189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 194 years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased, by the U.S., from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application. For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the Spanish monarch, Isabella. The good queen, Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus’ expedition. Now the Pope, as I’m sure you may know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, as is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that part of the world called Louisiana. God, therefore, would be the owner of origin and His origins date back, to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it AND the FHA. I hope you find God’s original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our darn loan?”

The loan was approved, and they all live happily ever after.

2.24.2017 Why all This History Stuff??

Morning All, I am sure there are many of you out there wondering “why does this woman keep talking about the ancient history of abstracting, I need help abstracting NOW”! Well there are two reasons first as I mentioned before, I am a complete title nerd and I find this stuff interesting, and two, how can you really know why we do what we do if we don’t know how we got there? We at Punctual are striving to be industry leaders in the abstracting aspect of the business and to do that we must have trained abstractors who are passionate about what they do. I have learned so many interesting things over the past two months, and that just fuels my fire to want to learn more. I think it has had the same effect for some of you because people are starting to call or email me questions. I feel honored that people trust me enough to ask questions that support them in learning their craft. Sometimes I know the answers sometime don’t, but together we do the research so that we can all learn from it.

What we do really is a unique and there is a certain art to doing it well. Anyone can gather information from the various sources and slap it together and pass it along to the client, many companies do that. Here at Punctual we are an ABSTRACTING company, and that is the difference. Abstractors gather information, we note what we find, we point out potential issues, we gather information beyond the standard to aid our client in fixing those potential issues. An example would be deed one states the subdivision name is The Willows, the next deed states the subdivision name is the The Willow, well which is it? We abstractors take the time to view the plat and make a remark to the client so that they can have a correction done. The information gathering companies make the copies and let the client figure it out.

 

I don’t know if someone famous said this first but my Daddy used to tell me all the time “Baby Girl there are two ways to do a job, the right way or the long way, you choose.” It takes a sense of wonder, a thrill of the hunt, a passion for perfection to be a good abstracting company, are you willing to be part of our team? We hope so! Never be afraid to question, seek out those errors, and pass on your knowledge. I hope everyone has a wonderful day and that we  all have easy titles!

2.23.2017 Quality is EVERYTHING!

Good Morning everyone, I was asked to take a break from the history of land descriptions to talk to you today about the importance of what we do. I made several observations on my visit last week the first is that we have become divided status vs abstractors, abstractors vs typists, current owner abstractors vs Louisiana abstractors, and this makes me very sad. We spend the vast majority of our day together and we are all working toward one purpose and that is to provide quality abstracts in a timely manner. Our newbie abstractors need to slow down and ask questions. Everyone is asking for an abstracting class but I can tell you that a class will only get you started, hands-on training and knowledge-sharing is the only way to learn this craft, veterans this is on you. I learned so many little tips and time saving shortcuts from spending time with everyone and hopefully I had some skills to share as well.

 

Guys there are consequences of messing up on an abstract, we are in business to make money and we make money by providing quality abstracts. If our quality slides they our customers go elsewhere, simple as that, there are a hundred other companies out there trying to do what we do and are more than happy to take our customers from us. When an error is discovered we need to figure out why it happened and then put a plan in place to keep it from happening, our run sheet was designed with this in mind.  One of the things that I discovered while visiting is that there is attitude that our largest client is treated differently from the core clients. Because this client sort of knows what is going on with the file some feel that there are less consequences if we have an accuracy issue arise on our end. I could not disagree more with this, each client should be treated like it is our only client, and each file demands perfection. Your name is going on that file and you should abstract each file the same way whether you have 1 or 30 in your queue. Perfection is hard to attain I was actually written up in my early days as a abstractor because on my hand written title reports and I would switch back and forth from upper case to lower case letters with the same word. I learned right away that I needed to step up my game, at the time I was like really???, but later realized this boss was training me for perfection.

 

This is not only an abstracting issue, I talk about that a lot because that is what I know, but our business has grown and it takes more than one person to oversee its operation.

We all have a stake in the success of the business, and we need it to be successful.

 

Donna Hunter

2.22.2017 Public Land Survey System

All, I cheated this morning, all this is taken directly from Wikipedia in an article on the Public Land Survey System.

 

The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is the surveying method developed and used in the United States to plat, or divide, real property for sale and settling. Also known as the Rectangular Survey System, it was created by the Land Ordinance of 1785 to survey land ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris in 1783, following the end of the American Revolution.

Originally proposed by Thomas Jefferson to create a nation of “yeoman farmers”, the PLSS began shortly after the American Revolutionary War, when the federal government became responsible for large areas of land west of the original thirteen states. The government wished both to distribute land to Revolutionary War soldiers in reward for their services, as well as to sell land as a way of raising money for the nation. Before this could happen, the land needed to be surveyed.

The Land Ordinance of 1785 marks the beginning of the Public Land Survey System. The Continental Congress was deeply in debt following the Declaration of Independence. With little power to tax, the federal government decided to use the sale of the Western Territories to pay off American Revolutionary War debt. The Public Land Survey System has been expanded and slightly modified by Letters of Instruction and Manuals of Instruction, issued by the General Land Office and the Bureau of Land Management and continues in use in most of the states west of Pennsylvania, south to Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi, west to the Pacific Ocean, and north into the Arctic in Alaska.

The Beginning Point of the U.S. Public Land Survey is at the border between the U.S. states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, on the north side of the Ohio River. It is near the three-way intersection of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the northern tip of West Virginia, in both the Pittsburgh metropolitan area and the East Liverpool metropolitan area. The survey was the first mathematically designed system and nationally conducted cadastral survey in any modern country and is an object of study by public officials of foreign countries as a basis for land reform. It was conducted in the late 18th century by Geographer of the U.S. Thomas Hutchins surveying the Seven Ranges. A National Historic Landmark marker commemorating the site lies on the side of a state highway, exactly 1,112 feet (339 m) to the north of the point. Built in 1881, it was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965.

Who knew that there was a monument to the point of beginning of the public land survey system, I know I didn’t! See the photo below

 

Word of the day cadastral survey— The term cadastral survey refers to the official boundary surveys performed under the authority of Title 43 of the United States Code (U.S.C.). Cadastral surveys in general: create; mark; define; retrace; resurvey; and reestablish the boundaries and subdivisions of the public lands of the United States.

3

2.21.2017 Introduction to Section, Township & Range

Morning All, today we will talk about the Rectangular Survey System. This system of land descriptions exists in areas where either the states or the Federal Government surveyed the land and established a Rectangular System of land division before permitting individual purchaser to acquire the land. Once this was Rectangular System was established the system was and is continued to this day. A few states undertook a uniform tract division of their own design in sparsely settled areas such tracts are called “Land Lots” (Georgia) or other similar names. Land Lots are not to be confused with “Government Lots” laid out under the Rectangular Surveys of the Federal Government. Nearly three-fourths of the land area in the United States was surveyed by the Federal Government and laid out in rectangular ownerships and sections before the ownership of such land was acquired by individuals. See the map below

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2.20.2017 Land Descriptions – Part 3

Continuing in our exploration of land descriptions, in general there are categories known as the “unsystematic” and the “systematic”, today we will briefly talk about the unsystematic. Unsystematic land descriptions are found primarily in the areas of the original thirteen colonies and in States where land grants were made by Spain, Mexico and France; this applies to parts of our home state, Louisiana. Ownership tracts of every shape and size were sold to the original purchasers in a jigsaw puzzle type fashion. When land was readily available and of no great value, the overlaps and shortages that can occur in the unsystematic descriptions were of no great concern, however as land became more valuable boundary disputes became prevalent. As early as 1784 Thomas Jefferson proposed a division of all unoccupied land into uniform rectangular units which inspired the establishment of the Rectangular Survey System, we will talk about that tomorrow.

Those of you who routinely work in Louisiana will have seen examples of the irregular sections but I thought I would  show everyone an example what we are talking about. Here is a map that I downloaded from the Bureau of Land Management, I just love old maps!

map

2.14.2017 The Point of Beginning

Morning All, Happy Valentine’s day! To continue our discussion on land descriptions  today we will talk about the “Point of Beginning”, commonly referred to as POB. Without a permanent, fixed, identifiable POB, the land described might be located in Metairie or Mandeville. Definite and precise POBs are not only important, they are crucial, when an area becomes settled and is divided into many parcels.

 

There are two types of POBs. One is local in nature and consists of some object on or near the land then being described, such as a boulder on which a mark or point has been carved. This type of survey marker is considered “unscientific” because they can be moved or destroyed. “Scientific” land descriptions are those which have relatively permanent, identifiable POBs such as a point on the surface of the earth at which specific lines of latitude and longitude intersect, or a coordinate.

 

The Federal Government has established survey monuments in many areas of the country at specific coordinates of latitude and longitude. Such monuments serve as remote points of beginning for surveys. In many instances sub-monuments have been established on line surveyed and projected from such original monuments and theses sub-monuments are used as remote points of beginning. Surveys made by the Federal Government in establishing the Rectangular System of Townships and Sections are projected from such monuments.

2.13.2017 Land Descriptions – Part 2

Morning All, I trust everyone had a wonderful weekend, today we will continue with our discussion of land descriptions. Land surveying has made remarkable improvements and accuracy since the colonial surveyor was walking the land measuring with Gunter’s Chains. The problem that confronts us is that many land descriptions with which we deal originated in the distant past and inaccuracies in surveys were common.  By nature we are inclined to believe and trust our 5 natural senses, if we stand on relatively level ground, our eye tells us that the surface of the earth is flat. For hundreds of years man believed this to be true. We know today, that the earth is a type of sphere, but it is still difficult for us to visualize a tract of land as being simply a segment of the surface of the earth. We all know that a curved line between two points is longer than a straight line and surveyors, to be accurate, must take the curvature of the earth into account with measuring a tract of land. Such curves are minute on small tracts; on large they become significant. My whole life I have heard that the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway bridge was so long (23.87 miles) that they had to take in consideration the curvature of the Earth when building it. I always thought that was just something that my Dad told me to keep my mind busy while crossing it, now I know that it is true!

 

Definition of the day: Gunter’s chain or the surveyor’s chain (also known as Gunter’s measurement or surveyor’s measurement) is a distance measuring device used for land survey. It was designed and introduced in 1620 by English clergyman and mathematician Edmund Gunter.

2.10.2017 Repetition!

Morning all, I was planning to continue on with land descriptions but felt we needed a little repetition of a prior message.

Research proves messages are more effective when repeated, have you heard the following expressions?

 

  • Got milk?
    (used for 21 years, starting in 1993)
  • Just do it.
    (used for over 26 years, starting in 1988)
  • What happens here, stays here.
    (used for 10 over years, starting in 2004)
  • Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.
  • Tastes great, less filling.
    (used since the 1970s)
  • Where’s the beef?
  • Good to the last drop.
    (used for over 97 years, starting in 1917)
  • Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.
    (used for over 60 years, since 1954)
  • Breakfast of Champions.
    (used for over 87 years, starting in 1927)
  • Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.
    (used for over 43 years, starting in 1971)

Depending on your age, many of those advertising catchphrases should sound familiar. Some you may have heard hundreds if not thousands of times. The companies behind these marketing messages had to sustain multi-million dollar investments for years and sometimes decades to make them stick in consumers’ brains.

 

In advertising, the term “effective frequency” is used to describe the number of times a consumer must be exposed to an advertising message before the marketer gets the desired response, whether that be buying a product, or something as simple as remembering a message.

 

So I am sure that each and every one of you is thinking, good grief she has lost it, marketing really? What the heck does this have to do with abstracting? It’s simple folks, repetition! We are trying really hard to get everyone from the more seasoned abstractors to the newbies all on the same page. Change is never easy, but if we do not change with the industry we risk losing our position in it. We are trying to build a consistent training model so that you will get the same answer to the question no matter who you ask. My message today is simple:

 

Blank spaces on your run sheet are bad!

If it mentions the subject property, add it to the run sheet!

If a document alters another document, notate that in your description box!

If in doubt, point it out!

Don’t skip a step because it makes added work for your co-worker.

2.9.2017 Land Descriptions

I know that several folks out there are really wanting to know more about plotting land descriptions and such, so I guess today is as good a day as any to begin this journey. What I know is self-taught, so I will do the best that I can with the knowledge that I have, but as always welcome input. I have saved a handy glossary of measurement terms in the continuing educations folder so that everyone can access it.

 

According to the LIT course “A comprehensive treatment of land descriptions would require excursions into astronomy, geography, geodesy, geometry, trigonometry, photogrammetry, terrestrial coordinated, land surveying measurement systems, geophysics, cartography, systems of descriptions, cadastres and economic, cultural and societal effects.” WTH!!! All I want to know is how to figure out if two pieces of property are related to each other, do I really need to know about cadastres, whatever that is?

 

Word of the day-cadastre [kəˈdasˌtər] NOUN a register of property showing the extent, value, and ownership of land for taxation.

 

I guess those GIS maps that we use in the Assessor office would qualify as a cadastre, who knew?

2.8.2017 The Surveyor – Part 3!

Morning All, this will be our last look at the colonial surveyor. Most surveyors worked close to home measuring headrights, dividing up property after a death and settled arguments about property lines. The most highly skilled surveyors were hired to conduct boundary surveys which were surveys to determine the official borders between colonies.

 

A small-scale surveyor worked with a few assistants and on average he surveyed less than 6 miles per day. The challenges in conducting a boundary survey are well represented by the 1728 survey of the border between Virginia and North Carolina. According the book Colonial People, The Surveyor by Christine Petersen, in the spring of 1728 lead surveyors William Byrd, II and William Mayo set off into the wilderness with more than twenty men . There were chainmen, boundary markers, woodsmen to cut trees, cooks, horse handlers and more. The first Gunter’s chain was set alongside Chesapeake Bay, beside the Atlantic Ocean. From that point the surveyors moved in a straight line to the west. The line cut through thick forests and swamplands. William Byrd described the conditions, saying, “the Ground, if I may properly call it so, was so Spungy, that the Prints of our Feet were instantly fill’d with Water.” The team was gone for months, finally surveying more than 170 miles along this important colonial boundary.

 

It was common to build permanent markers along colonial boundary line, these benchmarks were often made from large piles of stones. When the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland was surveyed in 1763, every benchmark was specially marked, with the letter M for Maryland painted on the south side and P for Pennsylvania on the north side. I recently saw a program on the History Channel about New York and they mentioned that benchmarks from these earliest surveys can still be found in Central Park. Now most surveys are done with the aid of GPS and are highly accurate, I am sure that a colonial surveyor would simply be amazed at how far his craft had come. Happy hunting every one.

2.7.2017 The Surveyor – Part 2!

As we discussed yesterday the surveyor was one of the most important people in colonial times, so how did one become a surveyor back then? Well according to the book Colonial People, The Surveyor by Christine Petersen when a boy reached the age of thirteen or so his family would search out the options around the community and try to get the boy on as an apprentice. Thru an apprenticeship the boy learned by working with an experienced surveyor which lasted anywhere from a few month or as much as seven years. Whatever the length of time the relationship was considered an indenture and made through a contract. The apprentice promised to serve his master, doing whatever work was asked of him and in return the master agreed to provide a home and food for the apprentice. He promised to teach the boy all the skills needed to become a surveyor and to provide him with all the tools of the trade when his apprenticeship was complete.

 

Did you know that George Washington was a surveyor? Yes, in 1744 when he was just 13 he was introduced to surveying in school. According to the book, George loved math and being outside so surveying was a perfect fit. He found his father’s old surveying tools and practiced by surveying his brothers turnip patch. Soon George was asked to help on a real survey in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The survey team faced nasty weather, wild animals, and even a fire in his tent, but he loved it and became a professional surveyor. Unfortunately for George in 1754 George was called up to join the army he would later become a great general and the first president of the United States of America.

 

And to think, I can’t even get my 13 year old to unload the dishwasher!  Lol Happy hunting everyone!

2.6.2017 The Surveyor

I trust everyone had a wonderful weekend and is raring to go! Friday evening my daughter and I went to the library. I don’t know about you all, but after looking at a computer screen everyday reading is not something that I do a lot of. I wanted to encourage her so we went, so being the title nerd that I am naturally I started looking for books on abstracting. I don’t know if this is the same at your local library, but apparently there is not a large demand for books covering this subject, as in there were none . I did however manage to locate a book on surveying.…in the juvenile non-fiction section….hmmmm. So I checked out the book, and I have to say it was wonderful and because it was written for kids it had lots of pictures. Lol

 

The book is called Colonial People, The Surveyor by Christine Petersen it’s 48 pages long, so not a long read but very interesting never the less. Distribution of land depended on a surveyor and as a result he became one of the most influential men in colonial society. His profession required skill in math and science, writing and art. The surveyor also needed to be a hardy outdoorsman who could stand the most difficult conditions. He spent weeks or months away from home, traveling through our unexplored country to discover which lands would be suitable for settlement. The surveyors job was not only to explore the land, he was also expected to describe and map it in great detail. Surveying involved measurement at many scales-from the border of entire colonies to the tiny farms. They walked up the hills to determine elevation and braved the rivers to find their depth. Governments also relied on the surveyor to designs colonial towns, cities and systems of roads.

 

Over the next day or two we will talk more about this interesting subject, but if you are near your local library check the book out and read it for yourself, I think  you will enjoy it too. Happy hunting everyone.

2.3.2017 TGIF!!!

Morning All, Thank God It’s Friday! Today we are taking a break from the standard DDYK and we going to explore that little phrase. So I thought, wow this will be easy  just do some copy and paste off the internet and we are done yeah! No so much. Lol Apparently there is, as with most things today, some controversy as to where this phrase originated, it’s usage, and it’s meaning. You can explore the wonderful world of the internet on your own time, but apparently “TGIF” did not originate with the TGI Friday’s restaurant chain, which opened in New York in 1965. The Encyclopedia of Slang is credited with the first use of “TGIF” in print way back in 1941. I found references to religion with the Jewish day of rest, there was an examination of the invention of the 5 day work week, there was even, believe it or not, a Supreme Court case brought forth by the United Workers of America to remove the phrase from the lexicon of American Sociology. A Supreme Court case, really? Some people have just way too much time on their hands! I am sure it has a different meanings to us all but for me it means I can do  things at a slower pace and I don’t have to crawl out of bed at 4:00 A.M.

 

So here are a few bits of nonsense to get your day started.

You’re more likely to hear people use the abbreviated version of the saying – “TGIF.”

When saying the whole phrase, some may choose to either say “Thank Goodness It’s Friday” or “Thank God It’s Friday” – based on their personal preference.

A 1978 movie on disco culture was called, “Thank God It’s Friday.” The movie starred Donna Summer and Jeff Goldblum, and featured a Love & Kisses song with the same name.

In 1989, ABC aired a family-friendly primetime TV block called TGIF. While it was based on the phrase, “Thank God It’s Friday,” ABC TV stars are said to have referred to the block as “Thank Goodness It’s Funny.”

In 1996, R. Kelly released a song, “Thank God It’s Friday.” The abbreviated version of the phrase later made its way into another song in 1989 – Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (TGIF).”

 

The use of the phrase TGIF in other languages  

In Canada, you’ll also hear the phrase “TGIF” happily shared on Fridays.

You’ll likely hear “TGIF” across the pond in England, too.

In the Netherlands, people do use “TGIF,” but they also say “Het is bijna weekend!” (“the weekend is almost there!”).

In Latvian, you would say, “Paldies Dievam piektdiena ir klat!,” which directly translates to “Thank God It’s Friday!”

In the Philippines, you are likely to hear them say “Salamat diyos ko biyerenes na,” which literally translates as “Thank you my god, it’s already Friday!”

In Spain, people say “¡Feliz viernes!” (“Happy Friday!”) or “¡Buen fin de!” (“Happy weekend!”).

 

In Portuguese with the phrase, “Fim-de-Semana!” the phrase can be translated as “End of the week!”

2.2.2017 Direct Search vs. Title Plant

Morning All, the last couple of days we have been talking about abstracting via the direct search and examination of the public records and it requires a highly skilled and experienced searcher who must rely on instinct and well as expertise. Today we are going to discuss title searching and abstracting from a title plant. This is another one of those terms that I had heard for years but has no clue what an title plant actually was. It was on a trip to Texas, that I asked why, what’s the advantage? The owner of the plant said “first and foremost in Texas it’s the law and second it simplifies the process”, I was now very interested, did he just say simplify? Having spent virtually my whole career learning my craft via the direct search, alphabetical  family name index method a title plant seemed like a foreign language.

 

The main difference most title plants are organized with a geographical index of all recorded instruments  rather than the alphabetical family name indexes.  The title plant gathers all the information from the various sources, assessor, courts and the recorder and organizes it according to land description. Meaning you search the tract index, and everything relating to that tract of land is there right in front of you in chronological recording date order. It doesn’t matter who sold to who, how names were spelled – if an instrument relates to specific land, it is indexed under that land, all and searcher has to do is copy it from the tract book. (I think  I hear harp music) The plants do have a name index and in it all the items which do not specifically describe the land, but affect the title of a particular owner, for example powers of attorney, affidavits, and judgements.

 

As you can see can be quite an advantage to searching titles via a title plant and now you must be thinking so where are these wonderful title plants? Title plants are becoming available in more and more places but generally speaking they are out west say Texas to California, the Eastern seaboard and deep south still use the alphabetical family name index method. There ya have it, happy hunting everyone.

2.1.2017 Running the Name?

“idem sonans”….what the heck is that???

 

Meaning sounding the same, or alike. The rule of idem sonans is that absolute accuracy in spelling names is not required in a deed or other legal document, so long as the spellings sound the same and there is no intent to deceive. Without the rule, typographical errors in a deed would result in title not passing, creating a nightmare in writing title insurance and in litigation over competing claims.

Example: Jayne Smith is idem sonans with Jane Smith.

 

What does this mean to us, well it means that we need to be diligent in seeking out and discovering indexing variations. This may not a be a huge concern to the recorder but can have huge implications for us, a mortgage that is indexed differently but sounding the same is considered valid and if we don’t catch it can prove to be quite costly. We must always be on the lookout for such indexing inconsistencies. We have talked about this before, but I was asked to mention a basic guideline of “what to look for” again, what seems obvious to some may be “huh” to others so here we go.

 

1.)          Run by names…..run with exact names first.

This is the method used to establish the chain and just see what comes up.

 

2.)          Run by names…..do the less is more method.

Put three letters of the last name and first letter of the given name. Not all websites will allow this but less is more should be the rule when available.

 

3.)          Run by names, looking for odd misspellings.

 

4.)          Pick up entries for Sr, Jr, III , that are easily mis-indexed for example we would look at entries for Bob Smith, Sr. Bob Smith, Jr and so on.

 

5.)          Common sounding names, run all reasonable variations for example Grey, Gray.

 

6.)          Run by names, looking at names with middle initials that have one entry, this indicates a possible typo for the middle initial.

This is by far the most controversial for example we are running Robert W. Short if you are running the list and see the name Robert A. Smith with 1 entry take a peek at it only takes a                second to see if it could be a possible typo.

We run all middle initials for women because generally speaking we change our names when we marry.

We should also be looking out for the male changing their name as well, this is becoming a trend where the man takes the wife’s last name or they both hyphenate their names.

 

I know that this seems labor intensive 6 variations!!! Really it isn’t, once you have been abstracting for a while this practice of what to look for becomes automatic, sort of like breathing. You should follow your gut, I have found many many things over the years that I should not have, something just seemed odd so I clicked on it. So at the risk of repeating myself don’t let them sneak an indexing issue by you, seek them out! Happy hunting.

1.31.2017 Consistency is Key!

If I have learned nothing over these many years I have learned this, consistency is the key to being a really good abstractor. Many of you have heard me give this talk but I think it bears repeating for some of our new team members. Each of us is a unique person with unique talents, strengths and weaknesses, things that work for say Lisa or Rodney may totally upset my apple cart and I am sure the same would hold true for them. I had a supervisor once who insisted that I chain my title back then run owners in a particular order that was completely foreign to me, it was a total disaster, my files were taking me twice as long to do because I was forcing my brain to do something it just wasn’t used to. I finally got with the program but in order for me to do that I had to develop a consistent set of checks and balances that worked toward my strengths and guarded against my weaknesses.  Our run sheet in PABS has been designed with this idea in mind, it offers us a way to make notes to ourselves, to document which instrument cancels or alter another, to remind ourselves to go back and order copies for instance. It is really funny when we were abstracting in the courthouse it was nothing to pull a hundred books in a day, and now it seems like such a chore to have to log back into to a website you thought you were done with. Oh how times have changed! The same can be said with the run sheet, handwriting them took forever, now it literally takes two seconds to type a phrase, or jot down a note to yourself. I know that parts of the run sheet seem repetitive but it is there to make sure nothing gets forgotten, so instead of putting your initials or N/A just to get past a prompt,  type it out. Notes don’t need to be fancy a simple not available, not requested, Assigns mob—/—-whatever we need to remind ourselves of. I know this seems be pretty basic but sometimes the simplest things can be the hardest to see. Have a great day every one.

1.30.2017 “The Uh Oh”

Morning All, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, I have to say I just love Monday mornings, no fooling, it’s a new beginning, fresh start a clean slate if you will. Last week seemed to be more challenging than usual, I don’t know why, maybe it was having to work a full work week, it has been awhile since we had to do that. lol Today we are going to talk about something that happens to all of us from time to time and that is making an error, you know being human. We all have good days and bad days, and I don’t care who you are, we all make mistakes whether we want to admit it or not. I remember the first time I missed a mortgage, of course the client reported it to my boss at the time who took me in his office “to have a talk”.  I was so upset I was literally sick to my stomach, he was very kind, together we figured out why it happened and l learned from that painful but important lesson. I have been abstracting for nearly 30 years and there have been a number of painful lessons during that time which have served me well in my pursuit of title perfection. Here at Punctual we have in place a set of checks and balances to make sure that we are providing the most timely and accurate title reports to our clients, and to me it is only an error if it gets to the client. Our abstractor run sheet, which is a major part of PABS, may seem repetitive but it was designed with mistakes in mind. Common errors were tracked and strategies for eliminating them were built in to our software, so we all need to make sure we are filling it out in its entirety, all information requested is there to keep errors from occurring. If something is not provided, tell us why, if something doesn’t seem right point it out. Abstracts tell a story, you are the author, you may be very familiar with that story today, but what about a year from now? Filling out the run sheet leaves us a trail of bread crumbs for the future so we can see what path was taken and why. So there ya have it, we are all human and with communication and teamwork we can make what we do seem easy, Happy Monday everyone and enjoy your clean slate.

1.27.2017 On the Road Again!

Morning all, so I got to go on a road trip to the courthouse yesterday and I forgot just how much I love being in an actual courthouse! Each has its own vibe, some are the easy going rural ones where the little lady behind the counter will ask what you are working on and proceed to tell you exactly where the property is along with the family history and gossip. There are also very urban courthouses which seem to always be busy assisting people needing various services. There is something about putting your hands on the actual index books that personally I find quite comforting, they all feel and smell about the same and have that same tattered bottom right corner from having been turned thousands of times. Most courthouses also have very old framed wall maps, which are so helpful finding old landmarks and road names, I have secretly always wanted to roll them all up and smuggle them out, I just LOVE maps.

 

While courthouses may look and feel very similar they all have very different methods for keeping the records, this is definitely not a one size fits all situation. The first thing I always do when I visit a new courthouse is walk around and get a visual of where stuff is, then I head to the counter and ask a few questions such as do you still mark cancellations on the face, or do you file probates in the conveyance records or do they have their own indices. This practice of getting to know the courthouse should be the same online, no two sites are the same and before beginning a search we should do a virtual “walk around”.  During our virtual “walk around” notice what is available, what is the cost, see how they index, is there a geographical search option, or is there a tutorial on how to use the site?  The next step is to do a trial run, for instance try running a search with last name  (space) first name then try it with a comma, is there is a difference in the results? When you are confident with using the site do your search, but remember when the search is over you are not done. We have this wonderful proprietary software called PABS, maybe you have heard of it, that has a directory feature that is there and is ready for your tips on searching this new site. Please, please pass on your new found knowledge so that those who come behind you will have an easier time navigating the site for the first time. Happy searching everyone and have a great day!

1.26.2017 Food for Thought…

I would like give everyone some food for thought, we are not just running names in a computer, when we run a title we become a part of that families life. Say what?? Think about it, we as abstractors, are helping someone acquire their piece of the American dream, a home or maybe even a business, how can you not be passionate about that!

 

Abstractors we are here to seek out and report errors and omissions, when you are buying a house you do not want any surprises. We have to look at this as if each and every one of those titles we are working on is our own. Everyone says that business is a cruel mistress and we should not take it so personal, well I disagree. To borrow a scene from the movie Erin Brockovich “that is my work, my sweat and my time away from my kids, if that is not personal, then I don’t know what is.” Be passionate about what you do, each and every one of us is playing a role, in someone else’s life, read those order forms, double check your work, ask questions, don’t let an indexing error slip past you, take that extra step to make sure that you are doing everything in your power to make our part of the title world seem easy.

 

Now get out there and seize the day, we got this!

1.25.2017 Running the Names

Morning all, as I stated yesterday my training moved at a much slower pace than we move today, the first abstracting duty that I was entrusted with was running liens and judgments for the boss. She would search the title while I shadowed her then I would be responsible for running then liens and judgments. I can distinctly remember chanting “I hope, I don’t find anything, I hope I don’t find anything”, now it is because its extra work, back then it was because I didn’t know what the heck I was looking at. As I stated before, there were no computers if you found a judgment you had to pull the suit record and sift thru all the correspondence to find the final judgement and make a copy of that.

 

Searching names is much easier these days, key in the name press enter out comes a list of entries that you sift thru. I was taught to start the search process with the first three letters of the last name and the first letter of the given name. This can produce a list with many, many entries you sift thru that list just for misspellings and typos, then you add additional information to your search criteria to lessen the results. We have to remembers those are humans entering that data, they make mistakes too .

 

Searching name variations is a touchy subject, or at least it was in my early days, there would be actual arguments among the abstractors over what name variations should be run. I can remember one particular “discussion” that lead to yelling and files being tossed to the ground followed by a week-long silent treatment, which turned out to not be such a bad thing. I actually know a guy who keeps a list, if he find one person with some odd name variation he forever runs that name variation. An example of this might be a John Smith that was indexed as Pookie Smith so now when running the first name of John he also runs Pookie, just ridiculous. Our policy here at Punctual is to run obvious variations of both the family and given name; some examples would be Grey /Gray, Thibodeaux/Thibodaux, Green/Greene and William/Bill, John/ Johnnie/Jon, Steven/Stephen you get the drift. The key is to keep your eyes open for things that seem out of place, you cannot abstract with blinders, question everything, don’t let anyone try to sneak something past you.

1.24.2017 My Abstracting Story

As we discussed yesterday the original recording procedure, in most states, could only be recorded upon the order of a court, so therefore the first abstractors were attorneys. Today just about anyone can sit at a computer with the tap of a few keys produce a title report. This computerized abstracting is a relatively new thing, and it has brought about a dramatic change in how we learn the process of abstracting. I actually got my abstracting start 26 years ago in Beaufort County South Carolina it was my first real job, you know one where I didn’t wear a uniform and ask if you wanted fries with that. J

 

Looking back it’s really funny, we worked 9 to 5, took hour lunches and never worked holidays or weekends, but we were working hard. Lol The real estate world, like the rest of the world, moved so much slower we had two weeks to do a full title! I don’t think I was entrusted with anything but typing invoices and following the real abstractors around for 3 months, but eventually I learned and after 2 years was entrusted with my first base abstract, Bloody Point Plantation on Daufuskie Island South Carolina.

 

The information we needed to do our job was all over the place, assessor on one floor, sheriff was around the corner, judgments were in the courthouse, land records were in a separate building with mapping and even a separate copy department, you simply could not do a title as quick as we do today. There were no computers there was a set of handwritten indices for each thing you were looking for grantee’s, grantor’s, mortgagees, mortgagors, tax liens, mechanics liens, judgments, lis pendens, plats etc. Depending on how many years you needed to search depended on how many indices you had to look in. After indexing you had to pull all the book references you found to see if they applied, oh how I hated bottom book day, you know days when every book you needed seemed to be on the bottom shelf ,which is only slightly better than top shelf books which required the use of a ladder.

 

So I know everyone is saying “geeze make a point”, well the point is in our fast paced, computer driven world, some of the “craft” of abstracting is being lost and hopefully by sharing some of the old stuff with you, the next generation, we can keep the “craft” alive. So when you ask questions of your veteran abstractors get more than a yes or no answer, wait for the explanation of why or how they figured that out, so you too can learn and carry the torch for the next generation.

 

To be continued…..

 

Donna Hunter

3.3.2017 THANK YOU!

This morning’s message is simple, thank you to all who chose to participate in the French Arpent Challenge. Here is the solution just in case there was anyone still wondering how it all worked.

 

5 arpents x 192= 960

6 ½ x 192 = 1248

1 ½ x 192 = 288

6 ½ x 192 = 1248

1 ½ x 192 = 288

 

Commencing at the Section corner common to Sections 15, 16 and 19 proceed West a distance of 960 ft  with the common line between Sections 16 and 19 to the Point of Beginning, thence South a distance of 1248 ft to a point, thence West a distance of 288 ft to a point, thence North a distance of 1248 ft to a point, thence East a distance 288 ft to the point of beginning.

 

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

1.23.17 Order in the Court!

Happy Monday, ALL! To continue with the origins of our craft – did you know that originally most all public records offices were under the jurisdiction of a court? The original recording procedure, in many states, required that deeds, mortgages, leases etc. could only be recorded upon the order of a court. This was done to prove the validity of the transaction and to prevent forgeries and improperly executed documents. This is the reason that clerks of various courts are still the official recorders in many states, and why the names of the public office vary from state to state such as “Registrar’s Office, Recorder’s Office, Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, County Clerk’s Office,” and “Probate Court.”

As a side note, I have to say that I received a number of responses regarding Friday’s DDYK on the Domesday Book, so for your benefit and mine I did a little Googling and found a website devoted to the Domesday Book of 1086. I thought some of you might enjoy some additional reading on the subject, I am a complete title nerd and loved it. Here is the link, take a peek.     http://www.domesdaybook.co.uk/

1.20.17 In the Beginning…!

So, did you ever think how the practice of keeping land records came to be? I mean, it had to start somewhere, right? I am sure this will not come as a surprise but, the practice was started as a way for the government to find out who owned what so they could TAX us! According to this account from the LTI course, it all started across the pond in England. When William the Conqueror took over the English Throne in 1066, one of his first official acts was to order a census taken of all persons possessing any estate or interest in land. It took twenty years to complete this census and when it was complete in 1086, the compilation became known as the “Doomsday Book,” said to be so named because it spared none and judged all men without bias or preference, like a biblical Last Judgment. This census was made to aid the Crown in collecting taxes and was the first official record of real estate ownerships. Well, as you can imagine a lot of things can change in 20 years, so the book was soon out of date. It wasn’t until 1199 that all conveyances were required to be enrolled with the Chancery Court. It wasn’t until 1536 that the government decided to enact the Statute of Enrollment that stated no conveyance would pass title unless it was made in writing and was enrolled within six months. So there ya have it, our business got its start with the Crown wanting taxes. Off with their heads!

1.19.17 Popcorn!

Today we are taking a break from our normal “Daily did ya know” to celebrate National Popcorn Day! I know a great many of you will be disappointed but rest assure we will pick it up again tomorrow. Here are a few kernels of information about one of our favorite snack foods. (sorry, I just had to) J

National Popcorn Day is a food holiday that is celebrated on the 19th of January. When it’s eaten without oil, butter, or other fatty ingredients, popcorn is one of the lowest calorie snacks around. It’s possible to consume an entire bowlful (3-4 cups) and only take in about 100-120 calories. Of course, the calorie count increases as more ingredients are added, salty and sweet are always in style, with butter, cheese flavor, and caramel topping the list of favorites. Americans eat 16 billion quarts of popped popcorn each year, and 70% of the stuff is consumed at home.

1.18.17 The Quit Claim Deed & Deed Wrap Up!

The quitclaim deed is like a catch all deed – it makes no warranties in regards to the title or that the seller even owns the property. Simply put, the seller (grantor) surrenders all rights, if any, to the buyer (grantee) and makes no representations or warranties with respect to the title or anything else. Quitclaim deeds are commonly used to “correct” potential title flaws such as the  appearance clauses, tenancy issues and ownership interest.

We could literally spend the next month going over the various types of transfers of title such as foreclosures, estates, property settlements, but we don’t want to bore everyone to death so we will be moving on. Each type of transfer serves a purpose and with a little research we can all move beyond the “because this is how it is done” to the “this is why it is done.” I would be happy to address any questions if someone would like additional information on anything we have covered thus far.

1.17.17 Bargain and Sale Deeds

Good morning, All. I hope everyone enjoyed the extra day of rest. Today, we will continue our exploration of the principle types of deeds with the Bargain and Sale Deed. The Bargain and Sale Deed is sometimes called the fee simple deed and this is the type of deed generally found in Louisiana. Word of the day: Fee simple= the most common type of land ownership and means that the owners have complete ownership of the land and home but, are still subject to taxation and debt obligations on their mortgage. As noted in the LTI course, in a Bargain and Sale Deed transaction the seller (grantor) says in effect to the buyer (grantee), “I bargain , sell, transfer, and convey to you the real estate described in this deed. I make no warranties with respect to title or anything else.”

1.13.17 Special Warranty Deeds

Day two of the deed diaries. Special Warranty Deeds, as with Warranty Deeds – you generally do not see this type of deed filed in Louisiana. According to the LTI, in a special warranty deed the seller (grantor) says in effect to the buyer (grantee), “I only warrant (guarantee) that I have done nothing to make the title bad or defective or encumbered while I have owned it, that I have good, right and lawful authority to sign and deliver this deed.” Here is the biggest difference between special warranty and warranty deeds. In a special warranty deed the seller (grantor) is only guaranteeing that the title is clear insofar as his actions are concerned, meaning, while they owned it. Whereas the warranty deed guarantees the title in full.

1.12.17 Warranty Deeds

The first deed that we will talk about is a Warranty Deed. This is something you will find in other states and will not generally see filed in Louisiana. Here is how the LTI course describes the Warranty Deed. “In a Warranty Deed, the seller (grantor) who signs the deed says, in effect, the buyer (grantee), “I warrant (guarantee) that I have good title to the land, that there are no material defects in my title and no outstanding interests held by third parties; that there are no mortgages, unpaid taxes or other liens or encumbrances outstanding on the land; that I have good, right and lawful authority to sign and deliver this deed; and that this deed conveys to the buyer (grantee) a good, indefeasible title to the land.”

Word of the day, “indefeasible” –adjective that which cannot be defeated, revoked, or made void. This term usually applies to an estate or right that cannot be defeated. I think this is the key word in understanding what a Warranty Deed truly conveys.  The seller (grantor) has had title work done, knows that there were no title issues prior to their acquisition and has done nothing to change that while they owned the land. They have the right to sell the land therefore, the purchaser is getting a good title to the land which cannot be altered or voided.

1.11.17 How are Titles Created?

The other day we read that a title is simply a bundle of ownership rights, recognized and protected by a court of law; today we are going to talk about how titles are created. The terms “title” and “rights of ownership” are practically the same and since “ownership” is a more familiar term we might call this “how ownerships in real estate are created”.  Ownerships, or titles, are created by deeds of conveyance, wills, inheritance, court decrees, and operation of law. So, what is a deed? We have all heard the word a thousand times but, what is it? Here is the definition as derived from the LTI course: “A deed is a written contract or agreement between a seller, who signs the deed and is called the “grantor”, and a purchaser to whom the deed conveys real estate and who is called the “grantee.” So there you have it!

1.10.17 Land vs. Real Estate

The terms “land” and “real estate” are often used interchangeably but they are not quite the same. Land is the ground composing the crust of the exposed surface of the earth and, of course, is real property. (bet you did not think we would be discussing the earth’s crust today, but here we are) The term “real estate” includes more than just the land, it also includes things that are embedded in or attached to land which are intended to be real property, such as trees and buildings. Notice the word intended, whether a tree or a building is part of the real estate depends on the intent of the owner. Although a building or a tree is normally considered part of the real estate it is possible for the owner to declare them personal property with the intent that they be moved. However, in the absence of proper notice of that intent, the law presumes that trees and buildings are part of the real estate.  So, to recap, the land is just the land and real estate is the land + intended embedded attachments.

1.9.17 Is that Even Real?

Today, we are going to talk about the types of property that we deal with in our business, real property and personal property. Each type has its own characteristics that are separate and distinct from each other. Real property is basically land. It is permanent, indestructible –  you know, not going anywhere. Personal property, on the other hand, is just the opposite –  impermanent, destructible and movable. It ranges all the way from those Mardi Gras beads your storing in the attic to steamboats and locomotives. In our business we have very little to do with personal property we generally deal with real property, but did you know in some states the courts hold a lease to be personal property? This is what is truly so difficult about what we do, the process of searching a title is relatively simple, it’s what you find and knowing what to do with it that make it a challenge. Remember what we talked about the other day, “we have to not only know the meaning of a term but understand how that term is applied in certain situations.” This is just another one of those examples.

1.6.17 What is a Title – the Sequel!

So as we discussed yesterday a title gives you the “right” to enter upon the land and to possess, occupy, use, control, enjoy and dispose of the land. The LTI course goes on about this topic for 5 paragraphs, I mean really, 5 paragraphs! In an effort to not lull everyone back to sleep I will condense it down to this: you can’t see a title but it exists because the law says it exists. You can’t see a title you can only see “evidence of title” in things like deeds, wills and judgments of possession and such. There are different types of title’s out there and we will discuss them as time goes along but for now this will do. So the next time someone asks, “What is a title?” you can answer, “It is the rights of ownership of real estate recognized and protected by the law, and those rights are primarily the right to possess, occupy, use, control, enjoy, and dispose of the real estate.” That “bundle of rights” is called a title.

1.5.17 What is a Title?

When a polite old gentleman at a reception asked a charming young lady from a title company, “What is a title?”, she stammered and replied, “That’s something you’re supposed to get when you buy land.” Strange as it may seem, she hit the nail on the head twice in one short breath, – once when she said “supposed to” and again when she, said that a title is what you get when you buy land. One of the first things a person should learn about real estate titles is that they can be uncertain and that many times when a person buys land he does not get title to it like he is “supposed to”. While it may seem a distinction without a difference, it is true that what you actually get when you buy land is the title and not the land itself. No one can pick up a piece of land and hand it to you. You can’t put it in your pocket or carry it away. All that you get is the title, and the title gives you the right to enter upon the land and to possess, occupy, use, control, enjoy and dispose of the land.

1.4.17 Is that even English?

So as many of you already know the land title business has its own language. It is English, of course, but is laced with a multitude of words, phrases and terms beyond the comprehension of non-title folk. The land title lingo we speak here in Louisiana is stranger than most because of our Spanish and French heritage, I mean hello, “Dation En Paiement”, right? Perhaps the greatest difficulty in learning to comprehend and speak in “title speak” is the fact that we have to not only know the meaning of a term but understand how that term is applied in certain situations. To help with that I located a handy glossary of terms from the LTI course and have saved it as “glossary of abstracting terms” in the “Continuing Education” folder in work; take a look it may be of some help.

1.3.17 Announcing Daily Did ya Know!

The land title business is technical. In many respects it is scientific. Had it been developed two hundred years ago, it would probably now be regarded as a profession. While closely related to the law, to engineering, and even to accounting, it has distinguishing characteristics which set it apart from such related professions. Anyone entering the title business soon realizes that he is not pitching hay or digging ditches. He has chosen a highly respected, dignified vocation which is vital to the economy and daily takes the responsibility of determining ownership of real estate – the foundation of all wealth. In case the last six or seven words went shooting by without rubbing off on you, permit us to repeat: Real estate, is the nucleus of the title business, and is “the foundation of all wealth.”

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