Iowa Finance Authority

Title Plant

Iowa Title Guaranty (ITG) recognizes that the 40-year title plant is the preferred method of providing title evidence for the purpose of issuing Commitments and Certificates. The Iowa Code and Iowa Administrative Code (rules) set forth the requirements for a title plant.

Iowa Code:

16.91.5.a.(2): Additionally, each participating abstractor is required to own or lease, and maintain and use in the preparation of abstracts, an up-to-date abstract title plant including tract indices for real estate for each county in which abstracts are prepared for real property titles guaranteed by the division.

The tract indices shall contain a reference to all instruments affecting the real estate which are recorded in the office of the county recorder, and shall commence not less than forty years prior to the date the abstractor commences participation in the Iowa title guaranty program. However, a participating attorney providing abstract services continuously from November 12, 1986, to the date of application, either personally or through persons under the attorney's supervision and control is exempt from the requirements of this subparagraph.


Iowa Rules:

IAC 265—9.7(1) Abstracting. Abstracts utilized for division purposes must be prepared by a participating abstractor.

a. Title plant. A participating abstractor shall own and maintain, or lease and use, a title plant including tract indices for each county in which that participating abstractor prepares abstracts for division purposes, unless exempt under paragraph 9.7(1)“c” or authorized under paragraph 9.7(1)“d.”

Each of the tract indices shall be designated to encompass a geographical area of not more than one block in the case of platted real estate, nor more than one section in the case of unplatted real estate. The tract indices shall include a reference to all of the instruments affecting real estate recorded in the office of the county recorder, and the tract indices shall commence not less than 40 years prior to the effective date of the abstractor’s participation in the title guaranty program. A government-maintained and -controlled database is not considered a title plant for division purposes.

ITG adopted Abstract Minimum Standards on June 4, 2014. The minimum standards were developed by a work group convened by ITG to discuss and develop abstract standards. The work group consisted of volunteers representing the real estate industry as well as ITG representatives.  For a copy of the Abstract Minimum Standards, click here.