What is Redaction/Record Shielding?
Redaction is intended to shield the location and other personal information of individuals with recognized safety concerns from being accessible through documents contained in the public land records. While there is a need to shield protected classes with recognized privacy concerns, that need must be addressed in a way that does not impede normal business activities.
One of the cornerstones of our country’s wealth and economy is the safe and efficient transfer of real property. The public land record is critical to this process. Redacting specific parts of a document or expunging/removing an entire recorded document can prevent access to information and documents that are necessary for providing constructive notice, protecting land rights, and preventing fraud.
Redaction can create unintended consequences including severely restricting or even prohibiting people from buying and selling real estate. Even worse, redaction can create a false sense of security for the people who are intended to be protected and can increase the risk of fraud.
- ALTA’s Real Property Records Committee has finalized a white paper titled “Privacy, Redaction, and Public Land Records,” which provides guidance on the redaction of information in the public land records.