What to Do When Your Countys Property Records Are Not Available Online

Prior to the advent of digital files, county or public recorder's offices used only a microfiche and microfilm index system to record and maintain property title documents. Once recorded, documents were placed directly onto microfilm, with each document being assigned a reel and frame number. If your county's property records are not yet available online, contact your property appraiser or assessor's customer service department to see if they provide property record information over the telephone. In most counties, you can call your property appraiser or assessor's customer service department and give them a property's street address, and they will be able to tell you the parcel or folio number, the owner's name and mailing address if it is different from the property address, when and how much the property last sold for, and the property's current tax-assessed value. This way, you will not have to go traipsing down to your property appraiser or assessor's office every time you want to look up information on a property. However, if you do have to visit your county's property appraiser or assessor's office to look up property records, please do not be the least bit bashful about asking county employees for help! When you visit your county's government offices, explain to the so-called public servants working there that you want to do a title search on a particular property to uncover all of the encumbrances, such as mortgage or deed of trust loans along with any other liens and judgments currently placed against the title to the property. In most cases, you will be given a brief orientation on how to locate a property in the official record books and how to use microfiche machines to locate documents recorded against the property's title.

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