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You’ve likely heard of a Parcel Register, but do you know exactly what it is or how it can help you?

We have asked Christine Cole, a Senior Product Manager at Teranet, a few questions to help our PurView users better understand what a Parcel Register is, what they can tell you, and why you might want to order one as part of your standard transaction due diligence practices if you are not already doing so.

Q: So, first things first, what exactly is a Parcel Register?

A: A Parcel Register is an official product of the Ontario government pursuant to provincial land registration statutes. Delivered as an electronic report, it presents the property’s legal description, the PIN (Property Identification Number) and the registered owner(s) of the property – including the percentage and type of ownership. It details the history of ownership, along with the registration and discharges of any mortgages, liens or other types of encumbrances that have occurred since the property was brought into the automated land registration system. Every registered document appearing on the Parcel Register has a corresponding registration number. If you want to dig a little deeper you can use the registration number to request the corresponding instrument and view an image of the document that was registered.

Q: We often use these two terms, but what’s the difference between a Title Search and Parcel Register?

A: Many people use the terms interchangeably, but in Ontario a Parcel Register is one element of a comprehensive Title Search which could include the consideration of additional on and off title items. Where this gets a bit confusing is in British Columbia, where the equivalent record to a Parcel Register is called a Title Search. Lenders can now order these records directly through the PurView platform.

Q: Who should order a Parcel Register?

A: Ordering a Parcel Register is a great practice in due diligence. The information provided in a Parcel Register can help both lenders and mortgage brokers gain insight into a property. This would include having a complete report of all registered instruments, some of which could complicate, delay or prevent a deal from happening. It is important to confirm that instruments on title no longer affect the property and have been properly removed or deleted from title. The Parcel Register is the only way to confirm that this has occurred. The Parcel Register can also be used to confirm that all of the registered owners have been included. Ordering a Parcel Register early in the process can help disclose impediments that could prevent the transaction from closing.

Q: How do you order a Parcel Register?

A: Currently, Parcel Registers can be ordered by lenders within the PurView for Lenders platform. We are excited to announce Parcel Registers will also be available for mortgage brokers to order directly through the PurView platform in the new year. In 2021, we will be introducing an eStore that will allow mortgage brokers to order a number of additional reports to supplement their due diligence efforts. Parcel Registers will be available in the eStore, via payment with a credit card, and other reports will be added to the inventory over time. Stay tuned and keep an eye on your inbox – because we are excited to tell you more about this future PurView enhancement!

Q: What if a lender or mortgage broker has questions pertaining to what they find on the Parcel Register?

A: If there is something appearing on the Parcel Register for a subject property, that you don’t understand you should always seek the advice of a legal professional. They will be able to direct you to a course of action if required or provide appropriate advice on what the information means for you and your customers.

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Christine Cole 

Christine joined the Teranet team in April to develop the product strategy for the financial services vertical with a strong focus on the mortgage broker market. She is passionate about listening to the needs of the industry and creating products that will help mortgage brokers expand and grow their business.