Property rights in the United States depend on routine and reliable recording of all related documents — deeds and liens — and easy public access to those records. County recording offices have traditionally been where such “public notices” are readily available.
A company that has been tracking ownership of mortgage loans for almost twenty years is an important reason for questions about whether the current system of keeping up with many mortgage loans properly meets that standard and tradtion:
This relates directly to much of the turmoil in the mortgage foreclosure crisis over the past year or more — lawsuits in which it was found that lenders taking properties through foreclosure could not produce properly recorded evidence that they actually owned the liens involved. Without that evidence, it has been found in some cases that those lenders did not have the right to foreclose at all.
This is more than just interesting, and it is by no means unique to Central Texas. This “public notice” requirement is vital to confidence in private property rights, a foundational principal and a huge part of what makes the United States the United States.
I always welcome comments on my blog, but I especially invite them on this post. In particular, if you work in the mortgage industry or the title insurance industry, please share your thoughts here.