Are Online Searches Reliable?
Imagine seeing this disclaimer at the bottom
of a title report. "makes
no warranty or guarantee concerning the accuracy of reliability of the content "
Or this, "shall not be liable for errors contained herein or for any damages
in connection with the use of information contained herein"
But this is exactly the disclaimer used by
online county websites. Attorneys who draft these disclaimers may know more
about the reliability of the data the sites provide than abstractors and
researchers who use the websites without reading the disclaimers. The plain
truth is - these sites are not safe!
County Websites have been
forced by law and lawsuits to remove sensitive and confidential documents. Whole
blocks of documents have been quietly removed from display without notification
to the online public, but the public is warned in the website disclaimers.
Tax liens, judgments, probates and divorce
records are often not shown in the online indexes but can only be seen at the courthouse.
In fact, many states prohibit the individual records of police and emergency workers from
Any report that is based on
what can be found on the county website is based on incomplete records and
should carry the same disclaimer as the source.
Promoters of online searches claim accuracy
and completeness on the front page stating they offer the same documents and
indexes available at the courthouse. It simply isn't true. Any abstractor that
relies on the online records is placing his company and his client at risk.
In the following,
Ramsey with Professional Research offers two examples of the differences between a searches done online
and searches completed at the courthouse by a professional local researcher.
Lisa Ramsey writes:
The first sheet shows what you get with online searching as many of the
vendor management companies are taking on doing themselves instead of sending to
abstractors. This first sheet is run by the Grantor/Grantee name as shown
by the top left hand corner and is the only viewing that can be done online.
The second sheet shows the legal description run - a capability only at the
courthouse level - which all the sudden 2 assignments pop up. There
is a third capability that I have found and keep a secret for an edge over other
abstractors for assignments that don't show up either of these ways! As
you can see these done over the internet would result in a "none
found" to you and you will keep incurring additional expense in recording
assignments over and over again when they are there in the first place.
At Davick Services we are committed to
providing our clients with accurate, complete and timely reports direct from the
No researcher can
be more reliable, accurate, or timely than his source. Only a local abstractor
working directly with the official Public Records and indexes held in the
courthouse can offer the reliability and accuracy your clients demand.