Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Recorder's Office?
The Recorder of Deeds Office is a place where all transactions having to do with land, including attachments, sales of property, Deeds of Trust, and Quit Claim Deeds are recorded and kept in a permanent file. This is where land records are kept.
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What is a Deed of Trust?
A Deed of Trust is a lien on the property to insure payment of the money due to the lender.
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How do I know if my Deed of Trust has been recorded as paid?
The lender (Grantee) must give the borrower (Grantor) a) The note marked "PAID" and signed by all persons who have been a party to the lenders; b) The original Deed of Trust; and c) A Deed of Release which must have the Grantees signatures notarized. This is on Deeds of Trust made before January 1, 1986. After January 1, 1986, a Deed of Release will suffice to get the document marked paid or satisfied. If a document (note) made before January 1, 1986, is lost or destroyed and cannot be found, a Release with Affidavits of Lost Notes must be filed.
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Can I locate the mortgage on my property?
Yes, the mortgage normally follows the filing of your Warranty Deed as to document number and date. It is listed as to book and page number or document number. In this group, you are the Grantor and the lender is the Grantee. If more than one Deed of Trust is listed against the property, it can be identified as a "second" mortgage or such but the first filed mortgage, unless subordinated, has first call on proceeds if the property is foreclosed.
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What is a Warranty Deed?
A Warranty Deed is an instrument by which the buyer obtains ownership to the piece of real estate being sold. A deed comes in many forms. The most common type of ownership transfer is a Warranty deed. The seller warrants that he has not encumbered the title and guarantees that his predecessors have not encumbered the title.
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What if I have lost my Deed?
The primary evidence of ownership of land is not so much as to the deed itself as to the recording of the deed. Once recorded, the deed is returned to the new owner who usually deposits it in a safe place with his or her important papers. However, if misplaced or lost, a copy may be obtained from the Recorder's Office and certified with the Recorder's signature and official stamp or seal. This will suffice for the original deed.
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How do I find the Deed if I don't recall when the house was purchased?
The Recorder maintains detailed records of the ownership of all property in the county sorted in various ways. By simply looking up the owner's name, the deeds can be located. If the owner's name is not known, it becomes much more difficult to look up a property by street address, but it can be accomplished.
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How do I know my Warranty Deed has been recorded?
The Recorder of Deeds office clocks the instrument with the date and time. It is then given a Book and Page number and a certificate is added with all of this information on the front page before the document is signed by the Recorder or a Deputy.
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What else is the Recorder of Deeds Office responsible for?
Marriage Licenses - The Recorder of Deeds office takes Marriage License applications, issues Marriage Licenses, files the license after the marriage, and maintains a permanent record, alphabetically, of both male and female and the date of the marriage.

Surveys & Plats - The Recorders office also receives Surveys and Plats of Subdivisions which are put on record as to date and time. They are microfilmed for public use and the plat is kept in the Recorders office.
Armed Forces document - The Recorder also files Armed Forces Document (D.D. 214) which provides a free service for all Veterans who have resided in Franklin County.
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What happens to a document that is brought into the Recorders Office?
A document goes through a number of steps before the document is returned to the patron.

  1. The document is checked for dates, signatures, spelling of names, complete acknowledgments, and, depending on the type of instrument, any other information that is needed before recording.
  2. If all information is correct, the document is accepted and priced according to the number of pages it contains.
  3. The document is then clocked with the date and time, given a Book and Page number, and then certified on the top of the first page.
  4. The document is microfilmed. One copy is made from the original card and one original and one copy is kept in the Recorder's Office. The copy is for public use.
  5. The document is listed on the daily fee book as to the type of document recorded, the name of the Grantor and Grantee, the book and page information, and the charges received for recording.
  6. The document is then indexed into the computer system by Grantor and Grantee name.
  7. The document is then checked again to see that it was correctly entered into the computer system and then the document is returned to the proper address.

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Can I make my own Deed(s)?
Yes, you can, but the recorder always recommends the retention of an attorney or Title Company for this important process. The Recorders Office is a recording agency and is prohibited by state law from preparing deeds or answering those questions which pertain to legal matters.
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How do I find the deed to my property?
There is a computerized index of Grantor and Grantee information that is available in the Recorder's office for public use. Grantor means the seller and Grantee means the buyer. In order to locate a copy of your deed, you would search for your name as the Grantee since you are the one that last bought the property. Once you ascertain the year that you purchased the property, you will utilize either the computer index (1984 through the present) or the Grantee Book (1819 through 1983) to further look up your deed. Within these indexes, you will find your full name arranged alphabetically, which will refer you to a book and page number.
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How far back do the recordings go?
The county was established in November of 1821. Our records go back to 1819. All records pertaining to Franklin County is on file in our vault. All Deeds of Trust, all Marriages, the date that licenses were purchased, and any other recording made in Franklin County is on file or film in our offices.
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Can you record property located elsewhere in the Franklin County Recorder of Deeds office?
No, property must be recorded in the county in which it is located.
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Are the Recorder's records current?
Yes, the documents are put into the computer within a 24-hour period after being recorded. They are timed and Grantee and Grantor are listed as well as the book and page. Printouts of daily work are completed by the next morning to compare for completeness and accuracy. The computer can call up information immediately after being put into the records.
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How long will it take for a Deed to be returned to the patron?
There are a number of functions that take place when a document is filed. It must be dated and time stamped, checked for errors, and put into the computer. It must be filmed, carded and either mailed back to the patron or made available for pick up. As a result, the amount of time required to complete this process varies greatly.
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What fees are charged regarding the documents and services provided by the Recorder of Deeds office?
The State Legislature sets the fees that we are allowed to charge for recording documents. The fees charged go, in part, to the State Land Survey Office to update the state surveys and to keep vital land records and surveys. The State Land Survey Office also police the registered surveyors.  Please click here for a current list of fees.
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Recorder of Deeds
Franklin County Government Center
Room 102
400 East Locust
Union, MO  63084-1675

Phone:  636-583-6367
Fax:  636-583-7330