Many people get the terms "abstract of title" and "chain of title" mixed up. When you are dealing with real estate, these two terms are similar but they do have different unique meanings. Here are the basics of the abstract of title vs. the chain of title.
Abstract of Title
The abstract of title is basically a summary of the history of a property. It is much smaller than the actual full version of the history of ownership of a particular property. All of the important information about a particular property is going to be included in the abstract of title.
Chain of Title
The chain of title is similar to the abstract of title except that it is the full version of the information about a particular piece of property. The chain of title tracks all of the individual owners of the piece of property over the years. This is a much more detailed set of information when compared to the abstract of title.
The abstract of title is frequently used whenever a title company is preparing title insurance for a piece of property. If there is ever any question about outstanding liens on a property, the title company will turn to the chain of title to answer the questions.