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Same County, Two Towns, Two Jurisdictions

A title exam should always be performed on the legal description across all deeds, mortgages and mortgage-related documents to verify that the legal description for the property of interest should be consistent throughout all documents. Previously, we posted an article where a property overlapped two separate counties so documents had to be filed in two separate jurisdictions. What if the property overlaps two separate towns within one county? Would this be an issue?

We will show an example where it is a very serious issue in a state where the records are kept at each township recorder office for the same address on a property with single mailing address. There are three states that keep the recording information not in the counties but in townships: Rhode Island, Vermont and Connecticut. The same county may have many jurisdictions with separately recorded documents.

While the data tape may have a county, address and borrower name for investors and lenders to run their due diligence, the title exam should be able to raise an exception flag for properties that have records in multiple townships. If this is not picked up during due diligence, the part of the property recorded in the different township might not be monitored by the investor or servicer for tax sales, municipal liens and code enforcement violations.

Below is a real example of where to look for the multi-township presence. The property is situated in the county of New Haven in the state of Connecticut and overlaps the borough of Naugatuck and the town of Prospect within the same county.

The legal description has the additional reference for recording in each jurisdiction.
Investors must remember that for the mortgage to be secured to the property, it must be recorded in the jurisdiction for each part of the property. Hence, the deed to the property, mortgage and all assignments should be recorded twice in this case: one set of property documents should be recorded in the borough of Naugatuck and a second set in the town of Prospect. Two separate searches should be ordered and examined for the same property and address.