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Your Exclusive Source: Accurate, Economical Data on All Real Property and Title Insurance Matters in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Title Search Subscription

What It Does

Protecting a title is a crucial part of a transaction for a potential homeowner, lender, or developer. Title insurance offers protection when titles are disputed, but disputed titles still leave owners, lenders, or developers in an unfortunate situation. To add extra protection against title disputes, individuals and businesses should conduct a title search prior to purchasing property. IDM makes title searches easy for The Bahamas.

In The Bahamas, real estate ownership documents, including deeds, Crown Grants, Certificates of Title, and others, are lodged in the Registry of Records in Nassau or Freeport. Because all documents prior to 2003 were microfilmed and more recent documents are often inputted with errors, the documents necessary to conduct a proper title search can be difficult to search.

To make the title search process more efficient, IDM poured hours into combing through the Registry’s microfilmed documents and extracting and indexing the essential information. This information is entered into a database that is easily searchable, making IDM the only digital source for real estate information for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. To ensure our databases stay up to date and accurate, we continue to peruse every piece of information made available by the Registry of Records.

In short, IDM makes conducting a Bahamian title search feasible for individuals and businesses and, in turn, gives peace of mind to homeowners, lenders, and developers across the Commonwealth.

IDM offers subscriptions to our Enhanced Search database, which allows attorneys, Realtors, and other professionals to search our database whenever necessary.

For questions regarding this amazing feature please contact us.

Overview of Bahamian Land Searching

The Bahamian system is based upon pre-1925 English Law. While there is a Registry of Records overseen by the Registrar General who is responsible for providing public notice of matters lodged in the Registry, there is no “registered title” in the same sense as in the U.K., Australia, parts of Canada and other jurisdictions with registered title. It is a deeds-based system in which it is the responsibility of the owner to prove his title to prospective purchasers and the responsibility of such purchasers (or lenders) to investigate the title and assure themselves of its validity and priority over possible competing claims. The rule is caveat emptor (buyer beware) – titles are not guaranteed by the government.

Deeds and other instruments are recorded and indexed by Grantor (Seller)/Grantee (Buyer) rather than by property description or title number. Roots of Title are found by statute in:- a deed thirty years or more old and that is recorded; a Crown Grant; or a Certificate of Title issued out of the Supreme Court pursuant to a quieting title action. The records of the Registrar General Department (RGD) are maintained in Nassau and Freeport.

The Deeds and Documents records include the following three eras:

Pre-1955. Documents were copied by scriveners into ledger books that have been microfilmed. Each book has an index of sorts that is searchable by letter of the alphabet. Within each letter the order of names is somewhat random.

1955-2003. Physical documents were microfilmed and a General Index was compiled and microfilmed each year. To search, one must go to the General Index for each year of interest, search by name of each grantee or grantor in the chain of title, then refer to or obtain copies of the microfilmed documents to which references are made in the index. Once documents are identified, they must be examined to determine their relevance and efficacy.

Since 2003. The RGD has created a system of electronically scanned documents that have been recorded. It provides a computerized index that is based upon Data Sheets provided by the person lodging the document for recording. While the current system is an improvement over those previously used, it is not up to the standards expected by demanding or commercial users. Copies of scanned documents are (generally) available readily.

During this period, IDM created our Indexed-Field (IF) Database (contextual index available for Volumes 1 through 10198). This was an improvement over the RGD computerized index in that it indexed more fields, allowed for wider search parameters, and provided greater data entry accuracy.

In 2013, IDM introduced the creation of our newest search tool, the Enhanced Search Database, which is a full-text index available for Volumes 8568 and higher, accomplished by means of optical character recognition (OCR) to convert scanned text to searchable files. With this database, the recorded documents have become fully searchable, enabling countless levels of usefulness of the recorded information. A popular search method available in the Enhanced Search Database is Boolean searching.

What is Boolean Search?

Boolean searching is built on a method of symbolic logic developed by George Boole, a 19th century English mathematician. Boolean searches allow you to combine words and phrases using the words AND, OR, NOT (known as Boolean operators) to limit, broaden, or define your search. A good researcher should know how to do a Boolean Search.

Some Boolean operators are:

AND: Using AND narrows a search by combining terms.

OR: Using OR broadens a search to include results that contain either of the words you’re looking for.

NOT: Using NOT will narrow a search by exclusion. (Some search engines, like Google, recognize the minus (-) symbol, instead of the word NOT).

Quotations: Placing quotations around a specific phrase will help you narrow results in order to find information containing that exact wording.

We have regular webinars to teach you how to best utilize our Enhanced Search subscription. For more information on title search subscription contact our team.

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