What is Abstract Property?

Abstract title property is the most common form of title found in the United States. Abstract title is a system of recording evidence of real estate title. The history of real estate transactions is indexed by legal description and name, this includes transfers of ownership and any rights (i.e., mortgages, contracts, and liens) that persons other than the owner may have in the land.

Recording Documents

Abstract documents are recorded based upon their compliance with recording statutes. Minnesota is a "race to notice" state. Upon recording, documents are issued a sequential document number and the date and time of the recording is noted upon the document. Prior to the enactment of the Torrens Act in 1901, all land was abstract land.

Storing Records

Crow Wing County records date back to 1867. Abstract records from that date up until 1969 are transcribed in bound books. From 1970 until 1987 all of the documents are photocopies of the original documents in spring bound books. In 1987 we started microfilming all documents and in 1997 we discontinued the microfilm operation and began scanning all documents for storage on optical disk. As of 2011 all our microfilm documents have been imaged into our electronic database.

Searching the Database

The abstract department has a computer index which searches by grantor, grantee, document number, or legal description. This index was started in 1989. Public terminals are available in our office for searches in this index. Our staff is readily available to give you a quick tutorial so that you may use these records quickly and efficiently. If you have the need to search this database often, it is also available on the internet on a subscription basis. If you would like more information on this service, please see the Online Tract Index.

Requesting Copies of Documents

Recording documents is our first priority. Requests for copies that are mailed or faxed to our office are handled in the order they are received. Crow Wing County does not perform abstracting services or title searches. We recommended that you contact an independent title company for these services.