The Board of Directors of the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) has given final approval to the eRecording Best Practices for Recorders paper produced by the eRecording eXcellence Work Group, under the auspices of the Business Processes and Procedures Committee.
eRecording has been steadily advancing throughout the United States since first being utilized in 1998. Recorders, end-user submitters, eRecording vendors and Land Records Management System (LRMS) vendors have tested out multiple approaches and strategies over the years. Because of the wider adoption of and greater reliance upon eRecording, PRIA repeatedly is asked for the best practices and norms for eRecording processes. This paper sets forth the consensus that has been reached on 11 eRecording best practices for recorders.
“Electronic recording (eRecording), the process of submitting electronic documents to a land records office which receives and examines those documents, calculates fees and receives electronic payment for those documents, as well as the subsequent electronic return of the recorded documents to the submitter, has now been adopted by more than 33 percent of the country’s recording jurisdictions,” said PRIA President Mark Ladd, vice president of regulatory and industry affairs for Simplifile, LC. “The time was ripe for PRIA to set forth the guidelines for practice area excellence.”
- Memorandum of Understanding. The recorder should execute Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), contracts, or agreements with each eRecording vendor that serves the recording jurisdiction, not with each end-user submitter.
- Recording Fees. The recorder should accept fees electronically for service in the eRecording environment with Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) payments.
- Document Types. The recorder should accept all real estate-related document types for eRecording.
- Process. The eRecording process should be as simple as paper recording.
- Index. The recorder is responsible for recording the document and creating the index.
- Images. Images should be submitted in a standardized format taking into consideration preservation needs. Scanned documents should be clean, without artifacts/lines, and must accurately represent the original documents.
- Vendors. The recorder should work with multiple eRecording vendors.
- Voiding Documents. The recorder should not void or remove documents after recording, unless directed to do so by a court order.
- Submission Limitations. The recorder may choose to limit the number of documents submitted in a single package or batch to no more than 10 documents totaling no more than 200 pages.
- Duplicate Recordings. Procedures and systems should be in place to prevent duplicate recording of a document.
- Electronic Signatures and Notarization. Recording jurisdictions should accept electronically signed and notarized documents.
Jerry Lewallen, president of eRecording Partners Network, and co-chair of the eRecording eXcellence Work Group, said, “As eRecording continues to gain traction with recording jurisdictions around the country, establishing a set of best practices was imperative for defining an efficient and uniform process for both recorders and submitters, while taking into account the differences in local laws and administrative rules.”
According to Chris Walker, clerk, Jackson County, Ore., and government sector co-chair of the eRecording eXcellence Work Group, “This document is the culmination of more than a year of drafts and rewrites that involved over 100 people that worked on these best practices during PRIA conferences and on bi-weekly conference calls.”