A recorder of deeds is an elected official tasked with recording and maintaining real estate records. In some cases recorders of deeds also maintain records regarding military discharge and other vital records. These elected officials also help prevent real estate fraud by maintaining secure records. They usually provide both electronic and paper records so that people can access what they need online.
The recorder of deeds is a historian for real estate and plot maps in his or her local community. These services help people research properties before buying or selling, and they also assist with genealogy searches. Real estate agents and lawyers can use the services from the recorder of deeds to find if properties have tax liens and to discover who owns a particular property. Recorders of deeds also work with quit claim deeds that show how the property has been transferred between two parties as a gift, without payment. The recorder of deeds works with both residential and commercial property records.
Does the Recorder of Deeds maintain vital records like birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage certificates?
In most large communities the answer is no. However, there are small communities where both types of services are combined. So, it's best to contact your local recorder of deeds directly to find out exactly which records they keep there.
If I pay off my mortgage, what do I need to do with the release deed?
Many mortgage companies will take care of filing the release deed. If your mortgage company does this for you, the document will have a stamp that includes the document number and the recording date assigned by the recorder of deeds office. If the deed has already been recorded, then you simply keep a copy for your records. However, if you receive a deed that hasn't been recorded, it's your responsibility to take it to the recorder of deeds office.
How can I search for a deed, title or other record?
There are a variety of ways to search for and request a record. Many recorders of deeds have electronic services that are available online. If you need to request information, it's best to contact the office directly.