Thursday, September 30, 2010

Recording Acts In-Class Exercise

Today in Real Estate Transactions we began talking about the Recording Acts (Chapter 14 in Professor Lefcoe's book).  We talked a little bit about the reasons that we have Recording Acts and how the system works in America.  I walked them through how to do a title search with the White House (look for the deed from G.W. Bush to B. Obama, then search forward for encumbrances, then search back for prior grantor, etc.).

But most of today's class was spent with the students working alone or in small groups to conduct an actual title search. I provided them with the name of a homeowner and the legal description.  I picked Sarasota County, Florida, but any county with on-line records would have worked.  I gave them five questions that walked them through the title search.  As they went through the questions, I would stop and make sure everyone was on track.  When class was over, everyone handed in a sheet with their answers (this won't be graded) and I posted my model answer on TWEN.  On Monday, we will talk about the different kinds of recording statutes and this example will be helpful to illustrate the applicability of the doctrine.  One of the deeds they uncovered, for example, went unrecorded for 14 months.  Most of the documents were delayed 3 weeks or more after they were signed.

This exercise worked really well for my class because it allowed me to talk about the Recording Acts in an actual context, as long as a lot of other related issues, like MERS.  I am thinking of using a version of this exercise in my Property class next semester. 

If anyone is interested in a copy of the questions and my model answer, send me an e-mail.  I'm happy to share.

Tanya Marsh

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