What is a land patent?

A land patent is the original title to land that was originally acquired within the bounds of the United States by the individual person or private land company named on the patent. Patents were granted by state and federal governments and by sovereigns (especially English sovereigns) before there was a US government. Certain real estate in New England can be traced back to land patents granted by English sovereigns. The federal government owns vast tracts of land that

Grantees generally acquired huge tracts of land, sometimes thousands or millions of acres) which they then could subdivide and make a huge profit. Generally that original tract was broken up into smaller parcels, typically by deeds and land grants, and the transfers that followed constitute the title to the various tracts as they were subdivided and conveyed forward to become the residential lots and other tracts we have today.

In the United States there is current confusion about land patents whereby individuals are under the assumption that they own their property free and clear of the government's ability to impose taxes. They are under the mistaken assumption that their land cannot be taken for non-payment of taxes nor for any defaulted mortgage obligation. They are incorrect.

Any owner of land that grants a mortgage interest has voluntarily assigned their right in their land to the lender in exchange for a loan of money. If they default on payback the lender can take possession of the land and sell it to recoup its money. Likewise, inhabitants of the United States have given the right of taxation to the government. If a landowner does not pay their portion of the taxes needed to keep the community (and government) operating, the government can take possession of the land and sell it.

Most owners of real estate do not possess a "land patent". They possess a fee interest in their land, which is the highest form of ownership in this modern world. They have the right to the exclusive use and possession of their land, the right to sell or mortgage it, the right to leave it by a Will and if they die intestate the land will pass to their heirs at law under state intestacy laws.

Some websites are offering pseudo-legal advice and a package that allows you to file a "land patent" on your land. It is extremely time consuming and very expensive since you need to have your land researched back to its original grant and then file documents at some government department to register your "patent". Your ownership depends on your deed (nothing changed here) and it is important to realize having a land patent does not limit you from willingly going into debt or from forming contracts or from property taxes. It is "much ado about nothing". As usual, the entities broadcasting land patents and then offering package deals are the only ones who profit.