This work analyzes the evolution and structure of the main institutional arrangements devised for reducing transaction costs related to the risk of eviction when selling land or using it as collateral. By comparing private contracting, recording of documents and registration of title systems applied in the US and the main European countries the work aims to identify the common organizational requirements of these institutions. This should help to fill the gap now existing between the needs of practitioners, interested in the organization of effective titling systems, and different strands of the academic literature that at most inform on their end results.