Dale Whitman


Land owership, lien, common-law, English mortgage, land records


Perhaps the most essential element of a modern scheme of land ownership is a system of records that will allow an owner to show to the world, and particularly to intended transferees, that she or he owns the land in question. It is almost equally important that an owner be able to create a lien or charge on land, putting it up as security for an obligation or debt while retaining possession. And as a concomitant principle, it is critical that an intended transferee be able to detect, in a reliable system of records, whether the land has already been charged with a security interest by its present owner.