TITLE PLANTS: THE BASICS
A title plant is a collection of recorded documents, maps, prior policies and index information that a title company uses to efficiently find the materials which need to be examined to prepare title commitments and other reports used to insure ownership of real property.
A title plant is more than just an assortment of documents – it is the engine that drives the efficiency and reliability of the title insurance process.
A title plant is a corporate asset with a tangible value of its own. The more complete and current a title plant is, the more valuable it becomes because title plants can make examination more efficient and help reduce title examination errors. In addition to a plant’s intrinsic value, a title insurance company that owns a title plant has the following advantages:
- Standardization and control over search/exam procedures
- Control over title production costs
- A competitive edge
A title plant must be updated on a daily basis to retain its value. Daily maintenance of the title plant increases its value; a title plant that is not kept up to date will eventually be abandoned.
AUTOMATING TITLE PLANTS:
Computerized title plants come in many configurations. Organizing historical title plant information (backplant automation) is a formidable task that should be handled by a trained staff who understand the entire process. Automated title plants contain electronic indices to the scanned images of recorded documents. The indices and the scanned images are used to produce title reports that allow for a confident insuring decision. Computerized title plants are the preferred choice in the title insurance industry because they offer:
- Improved search/exam productivity
- Reduction or elimination of miss-filed records
- Improved workflow
- The possibility of outsourcing some tasks such as search/exam
- Easier off-site backup for security
Advances in computer technology and the availability of excellent title plant software has made title plant automation affordable for companies of all sizes, and in counties with populations as low as 20,000 people.
The core of the automated title plant is the index to the recorded documents and the scanned images of the recorded documents themselves. If the indices or the images are inaccurate or incomplete, documents will be missed in the search/exam process, which could result in a claim. Computerizing a title plant requires:
- Trained staff who understand not only the intent of the various documents, but also posting and abstracting procedures
- Knowing how the indices and images will work together in the customer’s office
- Strict procedures and specialized software to minimize errors
- Scanned images of the recorded documents – acquired from the county or converted as part of the project
HDEP INTERNATIONAL – THE TITLE PLANT AUTOMATION SPECIALISTS:
HDEP International has a 25-year track record in automating title plants and maintaining the plants on a day forward basis. We have built computerized plants from: county official records; lot and tract books; index cards; slip plants; grantor/grantee indices and court filings.
Title plant automation and maintenance is a specialized task, and HDEP International has developed extensive software, procedures and employee training and monitoring to ensure that plants are built accurately, reliably and efficiently.
TITLE PLANT AUTOMATION AND MAINTENANCE – THE PROCESS:
- Discuss your company’s goals and expectations
- Inventory and assess the availability of the source documents – historical as well as day-forward
- Establish project communications
Following this initial step, HDEP International will develop a project plan to fit your company’s needs and the specific recording rules and insurance requirements to be followed in your county/state. We work with you and your staff to:
- Design county specific posting rules and develop a complete project instruction manual
- Review the source documents for completeness and legibility, as well as the document creation methods used historically
- Create a plat edit file
- Design the “locate and research” process
- Make sure that the plant will work with your software and systems
After the project plan has been completed and approved, we produce a sample index for your review. Feedback, Q&A and any needed adjustments follow. Then, project production begins. Standard production procedures include:
- Double entry of all data against various edits, guaranteed to be 99.95% accurate at the character level
- Production of a “locates” list for documents with metes/bounds or non-postable legal descriptions that require follow up or research
- Check of the index and image data to assure that they correlate correctly
- Submission of reports with each set of data to assist you in evaluating the title plant content
HDEP International builds plants to client specifications. We work with our customers to develop a conversion strategy that is prudent and cost effective. Our goal is to provide a level of expertise and experience that ensures that the project meets the expectations and budget of the customer.
If you want to build a title plant, or no longer want to maintain your title plant, call us or contact us here. We can be reached at:
1314 S. King Street, Suite 950
Honolulu, HI 96814