Title Abstracts

Title Abstract

As of January 2023 mxCourt added the social security number (SSN) to recording index pages for the following instrument types: Land Records, Judgments, and Wills and Fiduciaries.

Why Social Security Numbers now?

The parcel identification number or parcel ID is currently used by the Clerk's office (for the recording of Land Records, Wills). The Tax Assessor manages all parcels in the county via the parcel ID, the Geographic Information System (GIS) uses the parcel ID, and the Treasurer's office associates property tax payment collections via the parcel ID, as well. Just like the parcel ID, the Social Security Number offers a great value for data mapping for various instrument groups. The SSN will be a requirement in order to create automated title abstracts accurately without manual verification, thus reducing time and money for all participants. In summary: the title abstract can be created automatically by mxCourt, but only if the following three requirements are met:

  • The SSN of the grantor and grantee are provided with a Land Record transaction
  • The SSN is provided for the Assignee/Defendant in a Judgment
  • The SSN is provided for the heir/decedent while recording Wills and Fiduciaries

Is it safe to collect Social Security Numbers?

Today, Social Security Numbers are used by banks, credit card companies, and government agencies (e.g. IRS, Social Security Administration etc.). Adding SSNs to the recording of court instruments will not only contribute significantly to data accuracy, but also reduce manual efforts during the title abstract process.  The SSN is not displayed on any documents, detail pages, or search result pages on mxCourt, and is strictly used in the background during the programmatic creation of title abstracts via mxCourt. It is not visible to any user.

Overall, any given SSN is not visible to any user other than the person who entered the SSN during recording. Once recorded with the Circuit Court, the SSNs are encrypted and stored in a database, and are not visible to any user (e.g. not Circuit Court employees/users or any other registered user of the court management application).  They do not therefore represent a data security risk.

The current law on recording Social Security Numbers

Land Records: Per requirements laid out in the Code of Virginia, land record instruments may not display the Social Security Number on the instrument, in full or in part. However, the code does not explicitly prohibit the collection of SSNs for the purpose of title abstracting.

Judgments: Per requirements laid out in the Code of Virginia, the last 4 digits of the SSN are not only recorded, but also displayed on the instrument. 

Wills and Fiduciaries: Currently, we are not aware of a law about SSNs on Wills and Fiduciaries.

Deed Consideration versus the Transfer Amount

Detailed overview of the deed consideration amount.

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