Title Search Definition

A search of the local public land records, usually made by a title insurance company before a purchase of a parcel of real estate, to see whether the current owner of the real estate actually has good title to the land. The search should turn up any easements, mortgages, tax liens, or other liens on the property. If the title search reveals a problem ("cloud on the title"), such as a break in the chain of title, inaccurate property description in a previous deed, or some old secured loan which has not been released, the problem will have to be cleared up before the sale can go through. (See also: chain of title, title insurance, title report)