This is the time span required by the State of Georgia title standards. I have a good idea of how they came up with this figure.
A mortgage normally matures after 30 years. For mortgages/security deeds before 1994, if it has been more than 20 years since the mortgage matured, then it reverts back to the owner and is not enforceable anymore. In 1994, the Georgia legislature changed the 20-year enforceable period to just seven years. So now lenders typically cannot enforce a mortgage that is seven years past maturity.
If we add the 30-year mortgage term plus the broadest range of 20 years to take into account earlier homes, that gives us the 50-year search standard.
With a 50-year title search, we have to search both the computer records and handwritten record books from the 1970s and earlier. At Origin Title, we take the time to do a full 50-year investigation.