Abstractor of title
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An abstractor [or abstracter] of title is a person who prepares and certifies the condensed history (known as an abstract of title) of the ownership of a particular parcel of real estate, consisting of a summary of the original grant and all subsequent conveyances and encumbrances affecting the property.
In issuing title insurance, the insurer typically prepares a preliminary title report which serves the same purpose as an abstract. The legal effect of the preliminary title report varies from state to state. In some states, it is treated as an abstract, making the insurer liable for errors and omissions. In other states, it is treated as only a proposal to issue title insurance. In many states, the abstractor is often an attorney who handles an escrow for the sale and who earns a commission on the sale of the title insurance policy. In a few states (e.g., California), the preliminary title report is typically prepared by the title company's staff and the commission is paid to an independent agent. In Oklahoma, abstractors are licensed. In most states, preparing an independent abstract is treated as the practice of law.
- James Gosdin, Title Insurance: A Comprehensive Overview (2007) p. 331
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