Learn more about the Grand Traverse County Register of Deeds
In 1835, the first Constitution of the State of Michigan was adopted by the Congress of the United States which established the Register of Deeds as the official recording office for all legal instruments pertaining to the transfer and encumbrances of properties in each county. Examples of real property are such documents as warranty deeds, quit claim deeds, administrator deeds, tax and sheriff deeds, also mortgages and any assignment or discharge thereof, land patents, leases, liens, (state, federal, mechanics, etc.), probate orders, agreements, land contracts, and numerous other instruments which effect real estate including certified surveys, plats and government corners. Grand Traverse County’s records date back to 1853. It would be impossible to place a value on these irreplaceable records containing such important data.
Lending institutions, abstract offices, realtors, lawyers, credit bureaus, and the general public are among the many people who check the recording and filings of instruments in the office. Entries are kept daily on a computer system especially designed for Register of Deeds offices. Each document has to be carefully checked to be sure it meets recording requirements according to statute. All documents received must be numbered consecutively, timed and properly cross-indexed. Documents are then scanned into the computer system and microfilmed. For security purposes, duplicate microfilmed copies of all documents are sent to an underground storage facility in Grand Rapids. Proof of ownership is established according to the records of the Register of Deeds.
Michigan has a "race-notice" statute; recording a deed places subsequent purchasers on constructive notice. Thus, it is important that documents are recorded in the exact order in which they are first presented for recording at the Register of Deeds office. First in time is first in line. An error in recording might cost a property owner a hefty sum, if the owner is forced to prove title, or ownership, of their property. The Register must constantly study and be aware of the laws which govern the office.
The Register of Deeds office records and indexes are used for legal purposes concerning the most valuable material possession you own, YOUR HOME.