Abstract of title
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In English law, the summary of the deeds, documents, and events under or by virtue of which the owner of an interest in land derives his title thereto. An abstract of title is an epitome of the various instruments and events under and in consequence of which the vendor of an estate derives his title thereto. It is prepared, upon the sale or mortgage of an estate, by some competent person for the purchaser or mortgagee and verified by his solicitor by a comparison with the original deeds.
In sum, an abstract of title is an historical summary of all of the recorded instruments and proceedings that affect the title of property. An example is where a title insurance company will have an attorney prepare an abstract of title prior to granting a title insurance policy.
See also conveyancing.