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The primary responsibility of the County Recorder is to accept and maintain a permanent public repository of real estate records. Types of documents in the repository include deeds, mortgages, contracts for deed, mortgage satisfactions, foreclosure records, probate documents, and easements. In Minnesota there are two systems of public real estate records, Abstract and Torrens.
Abstract – System of recording evidence of real estate title. History of real estate transactions, indexed by legal description and name, that includes transfers of ownership and any rights (i.e.; mortgages, contracts, liens) that persons other than the owner might have in the land.
Torrens – System of registration of land titles by District Court order resulting in the creation of a certificate of title. All subsequent transactions affecting the property are noted upon the certificate. The certificate of title is conclusive as to the state of title.
Recordable documents are accepted, reviewed, receipted, indexed, scanned and returned. By statute the County Recorder is also the Registrar of Titles under the Torrens registered system. In Torrens the Registrar examines real estate title and maintains certificates of title for all registered property.
To have an effective Official Public Record three fundamentals must be in place:
Confidence in public real property records is of critical importance to our nation’s economy. Property ownership is the foundation of wealth and a key component to capitalism in the United States. Because of the confidence the financial institutions have in the public record they issues loans that allow for the purchase of property, maintenance of property, and funding of college education or other dreams. Accurate real property records are also critical to appropriate property tax and levy collection.