Land Registration pt. 1: “Certificate of Title”

This has been a pet subject of mine recently, as I believe that the justification of taxing property comes from the fact that it is registered– that the owner-to-be is receiving a benefit.

Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition says:

Certificate of title. See Insurance (Title insurance).”

Title insurance. Insurance against loss or damage resulting from defects or failure of title to a particular parcel of realty, or from the enforcement of liens existing against it at the time of the insurance.    This form of insurance is taken out by a purchaser of the property or one loaning money on mortgage, and is furnished by companies specially organized for the purpose, and which keep complete sets of abstracts or duplicates of the records, employ expert title-ex­ aminers, and prepare conveyances and transfers of all sorts.    A “certificate of title” furnished by such a company is merely the formally expressed profession­al opinion of the company’s examiner that the title is complete and perfect (or otherwise, as stated), and the company is liable only for a want of care, skill, or diligence on the part of its examiner; whereas an “insurance of title” warrants the validity of the title in any and all events. It is not always easy to distinguish between such insurance and a “guaranty of title” given by such a company, except that in the former case the maximum limit of liability is fixed by the policy, while in the latter case the undertaking is to make good any and all loss resulting from defect or failure of the title.”

The C of T is merely evidence that the title is without defect, meaning all ownership heretofore has been legitimate.  The above definition says nothing about YOUR ownership.  It is merely some research done before you take possession of the land.

This is relevant because, in the Torrens system, once registered, the one applying for registration is to be issued a “Certificate of Title”.

See next post for more on the Torrens System.


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