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August 24, 2005

New act would allow electronic filing of mortgages MortgagePress.comElectronic Filing,Legislation,URPERA,NCCSUL
A new law is being drafted that, if passed by the states, would
give county clerks and recorders the legal authority to prepare for
electronic recordation of real property records. The Uniform Real
Property Electronic Recording Act (URPERA) was drafted by the
National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCSUL)
and received final approval at NCCUSL's 113th Annual Meeting on
Aug. 5 in Portland, Ore.
In the past few years, many local real estate recorders have
developed a strong interest in converting their traditional
paper-based land recording systems to electronic form. A number of
individual recorders have already set up digital systems, although
in some cases, without much clear legal authority to do so. In
fact, most states have little or no legislation authorizing
electronic recording. The few statutes that do exist are mostly
piecemeal, dealing with isolated issues rather than taking a
comprehensive view of the necessary legal developments.
Acts, such as the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act and the
federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act,
contain certain provisions that would clear the way for digital
recording of real estate documents by local recorders' offices.
However, many state laws still require recorded real estate
documents to be submitted on paper or in writing. The uniform act,
in authorizing recordation of real estate documents that are in
electronic form, would supersede traditional paper-based statutory
requirements. In addition, recorders may need a number of other
legal elements in order to carry out electronic recording. Those
elements can include the authority to establish standard real
estate document forms, record by reference to such forms, fix
appropriate fees for electronic recording and to collect fees
The goal of the uniform act is to create legislation authorizing
land records officials to begin accepting records in electronic
form, storing electronic records and setting up systems to search
for and receive them. The intent is only to authorize such
activities, not to mandate them. The act also establishes a state
electronic recording commission that is charged with adopting
standards for the receipt, recording and retrieval of electronic
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