Mandrien Talks Title Plants – What Is This Strange Thing

A title plant, as defined by Mandrien, is a comprehensive accumulation of land records in a particular jurisdiction. The architect of a title plant indexes all of the documents filed in a courthouse against legal descriptions for the properties when legal descriptions are available. Accordingly when an abstractor is examining title in a given survey or subdivision all the records pertaining to the land are found in the same part of the plant. Mandrien information reflects that plants are family owned businesses passed down through generations. Originally title plants were hand written into large books known as “tract” books. Tracts books are usually very large books which take up large amounts of space and only one person can use them at a time.
Most plants have already gone through the expense of microfilming or scanning their information. Typical progression for older plants is from paper to microfiche (or microfilm) and then to computers or a combination of these.There are still Plant owners who think protecting their asset means keeping it to themselves and NOT making the information available to others. If you are the only title plant in a county then you have a “legal” monopoly in the county and until now, keeping data to oneself may have made sense.But, advances in technology makes it possible to build a quality title plants to compete with a plant in operation for decades. Current Mandrien research indicates that the “new” plant may not be as detailed or go back as far as the one in business for generations but if it meets the state requirements and is sufficient for examining title then it will likely be acceptable to the Underwriters.
The latest technology to convert all data into an electronic format, making information available via the Internet, using contacts from the sale of online data to generate more business for the agency and creating additional revenue by providing data through mulitple sources. The end results may be to make it less economically attractive for competitors to move into a market.

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