Teaching Legal Professionals How To Do Research
Teaching Legal Professionals How To Do Research

Home > Research Q and A > Finding Old Real Estate Transactions

Finding Old Real Estate Transactions

Question: A reader from the U.K. seeks research advice for finding information about business transactions involving the buy-out of outside partners, who helped finance the purchase and development of real estate in New York (Manhattan) during the period 1979 to 1983. The U.S. companies involved consisted of general partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations organized under the laws of New York and Delaware.

Maureen Drews, a paralegal with Holland & Knight, and I respond.

Maureen: A great source of information on M&A deals, involving public companies or their subsidiaries, is LIVEDGAR, which is a Global Securities Information, Inc. database. You have to have an account to access it. With phone support from researchers, you should be able to identify the transactions. However, I am not sure how far back the M&A database goes.

Editor: Because of the time period involved (1979-1983) and the complexity of research involving real estate transactions, I recommend you hire a research service that specializes in searching real estate titles or transactions. BRB Publications' Public Record Retriever Network is a good place to start when looking for a research service. Also, an expert, who wants to remain anonymous, suggests contacting SearchNY, Inc., a public records research business. Their phone is 212-608-2546.

Real estate filings are public record. The New York City Register maintains these records for Manhattan and surrounding counties. The NY Department of Finance provides access to the Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS) via its Web site. ACRIS offers property record indexes and document images for Manhattan back to 1966. The ACRIS Help Desk phone is 212-487-6300. (See Web site address below.)

Another, less certain avenue of research would be to retrieve the companies' filings with the New York Secretary of State. The filings are public; however, I'm uncertain about whether they would contain the kind of details you seek. If the businesses are still active, the Division's database should provide an index of the companies' filings. You can contact the Division of Corporations at (518) 473-2492, Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM.

Finally, according to a 1997 Missouri Law Review article ("Structural Change and Inter-Professional Competitive Advantage: An Example Drawn From Residential Real Estate Conveyancing," 62 Mo. L. Rev. 241), real estate transactions are filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on form 1099S. While the forms do not appear to be public record, I mention this in the event your question concerns litigation and they are discoverable.



5-star rating in The Best (and Worst) Legal Sites on the Web

Copyright: 1996 - 2008 Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP all rights reserved. Select graphics copyrighted by Jupiterimages Corporation.

Disclaimer: The materials in The Virtual Chase® are informational and provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.


Created: 26 May 2004
Revised: 8 December 2004 (reviewed)
URL: https://www.virtualchase.com/ask_answer/real_estate.html
Suggestions: Genie Tyburski, editor [at] virtualchase [dot] com