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 electronically. 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 documents. For more information, visit www.nccusl.org.