Bench & Bar of Minnesota is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Property both Torrens and Abstract

Occasionally a practitioner comes across a property which includes both Torrens and abstract titles, the result of combining two or more parcels for one use.

A conveyance of such lots must be recorded both with the Registrar of Titles (Torrens) and with the County Recorder (abstract).  A recorded document on one side will not constitute notice to searchers of the complete title.  It may also expose a buyer’s title to liens against the former owner if the buyer’s documents are not on both sides—sure malpractice for the buyer’s attorney.  The Collier case, 726 N.W.2d 799 (Minn. 2007), is memorable among real estate practitioners for the dangers of failing to record a Torrens document on the Torrens side.

Because of this confusion and the double expense of recording, we recommend that the abstract parcel be converted to Torrens by a Chapter 508A Nonjudicial Registration.  Eventually, both parcels will wind up on one Certificate of Title, and there will be only the one office for recording and only one fee to pay.

Robert Beutel

Attorney at Law

St. Paul


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