In most cases in America, the owners of real estate can be readily identified by reviewing the title documents maintained by the county Clerk and Recorder's office for the county in which the property is located. Many of these offices, such as Douglas County, Colorado, and Richmond County, New York, have this information available online, with documents that are searchable by street address.Continue Reading
The county Clerk and Recorder's office (sometimes under a similar name, such as County Clerk or County Records) officially records all sales and transfers of ownership of a given piece of real property. For certified copies of records or older documents, there may be a fee to retrieve the document. For those counties that do not have their documents online, a physical visit to the office to conduct the search yields the information, and copies of documents can be obtained for a small fee. Property searches also reveal pending foreclosure sale notices and tax levies.
Property deeds are public record, though some properties are owned by trusts or by companies, in which case a search of the state's Secretary of State office for the company information may result in a named individual who can be contacted for more information. It is important to remember that the property owner may or may not be the resident of the property, as in the case of rental property. Additional information, such as estimated values, can be found through the county Tax Assessor's office.Learn more about Public Records