We have discussed the nature of conducting a property search using the county grantor/grantee books – a time-consuming task because the search has to be done by the property owner’s name before documents with the needed property can be identified.
This was the impetus for building indices that could be searched by property rather than by name.
The difference between the county’s tor/tee indices (many of which are now computerized) and the title plants is that title plants are indexed by the legal description of the property listed on each document. While expensive to create and maintain, title plants pay for themselves when an order comes in: the searcher can easily call up only the documents affecting the property in question (PIQ).
Manual title plants began to be developed at the turn of the twentieth century. The first plants involved manual notations in large tract books. Tract books have a separate page or column for each parcel in the county, and the instrument number of each recorded document with a legal description is written on that page. Many of these tract books are still in use. Slip plants followed, again a manual organizing system but this time similar to a library card catalog – one “slip of paper” per recorded document and filed by parcel. “Chip” plants were another approach, using microfiche chips as the organizing tool. Finally, in the late 1960s the first computerized title plants were introduced.
HDEP International has assisted title companies in large counties and small to build title plants; i.e. to create a computerized legal description-based index to the documents recorded in the county. HDEP also handles daily postings to maintain the plants for on-going use.
If your company would benefit by building a title plant or outsourcing its daily postings, we can assist. If you have any questions or would like to speak to a representative about our title outsourcing services, please feel free to contact us.