Potential Complications When Dealing with Torrens or Abstract Property img

Potential Complications When Dealing with Torrens or Abstract Property

calender icon 10/12/2022    poster icon  Mark Goodman

If your real estate transaction involves Torrens property and you submit a deed to the County Recorder’s office, they may accept that instrument for recording but it won’t affect title to your property because it was submitted to the wrong recording office and it won’t be indexed against the property. This is an issue that is often overlooked by those unfamiliar with the system.

In most other states, you have only one property records office. But here in Minnesota we have two different recording authorities in every county. You may run into a situation where your property is both Abstract and Torrens, in which case you need to be prepared to file your documents in each office. This can make recording complicated and expensive.

We have run into recording situations before when document (say a mortgage) is supposed to affect the property but gets recorded in the wrong recording system. For example, it gets recorded in Abstract but it should have been Torrens. The recorder will accept that document and record it in the Abstract system but that mortgage is not officially affecting title to the property because it’s not recorded in the right system. When the lender goes to foreclose that mortgage, they’ll have a problem that will delay and complicate the foreclosure proceedings. There may have even been another mortgage that’s been recorded against title in the correct Torrens recording system in the meantime and that new mortgage would have priority over the old mortgage that was filed incorrectly.