Indexing Best Practices

The Property Records Index exists in order to find necessary information so a document itself can be retrieved. The documents determine whether ownership of property or an interest in the property may have changed. The only way to ensure the integrity of the indexes is for the recording jurisdiction to be responsible for, and to maintain, quality control. In order to maximize the Recorders’ Index, it is critical to follow a guide of best practices in order to index consistently and accurately.

Statutory requirements for indexing include:

  • Names of the parties to the document
  • Date and time of filing or recording
  • Document/Instrument number
  • Document/Instrument type

The index needs to be as straightforward and consistent as possible as new index data is added to the typical index, such as: abbreviated legal descriptions, cross-references to related documents or court-case numbers, multiple variations on names within a document, expanding document types, and more.

The following are some best practices to follow when indexing documents.

Case Letters: capitalize case letters throughout the index.

Corrections: disclaimer indicating where, when and why changes occurred.

Abbreviations: do not abbreviate unless the abbreviation is on the document and do not enter “etc” or any other indicator.

Names of Corporations/Organizations: Index as seen/shown on document; if “the” and “a” are part of the official name it is appropriate to use the text.

Numbers, Symbols & Letters: index as shown using hyphens, slashes, apostrophes, etc.

Firm Names Containing Given Names or Initials: Index as documented with initials/given names

Names of Individuals: do not abbreviate names or use honorary titles (The Honorable, Reverend, Colonel). The recommended format is LASTNAME FIRSTNAME MIDDLENAME/INITIAL SUFFIX.

Abbreviated Names: if documented, index with appropriate abbreviation in the format LAST NAME FIRSTNAME MIDDLENAME/INITIAL SUFFIX.

Unknown Tenants, Spouses, Heirs, Trustees, et al: do not add unidentified parties or the phrase “et al.”

Extract's intelligent platform is able to recognize and categorize all types of incoming documents by content type and automate the extraction of relevant index data per document type. The process of extracting all relevant index data allows the solution to more intelligently and consistently route documents to desired levels in a land record.

Need help with return on investment (ROI) and justification for an automated indexing solution? Let us show you our workflow time savings tool to help you specifically define and predict how your current processes would be improved using Extract's intelligent indexing solution.


About the Author: Chantel Soumis

Chantel Soumis represents the Marketing Department at Extract as Marketing Manager. Chantel studied marketing communications and business administration at Franklin University and proceeded to work in a fast, ambitious environment, assuring client delight in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Passionate about project productivity and streamlining workflows through the use of technology, Chantel strives to inform organizations of Extract’s advanced OCR solution by mastering communications and messaging while delivering helpful information and supporting resources.