Nationwide Title Clearing Inc. (NTC) states that, amidst the changes occasioned by new regulations and compliance standards in the mortgage industry, electronic recording or “eRecording” may make things easier and should not be overlooked as a potential source for relief. eRecording is the process of filing and recording documents electronically with county recording jurisdictions rather than on paper and is a growing trend in the mortgage industry. In addition to eRecording saving environmental resources, staffing resources also become available by alleviating redundant or unnecessary work. Thus, potentially allowing mortgage lenders and servicers to refocus key resources toward important issues, such as compliance to the latest wave of regulations and improving accuracy.
In the past year, the volume of documents sent by NTC to record electronically has gone from 10 percent of volume being sent via eRecord in May, 2012, to 45 percent being sent via eRecord more recently. With such positive growth, NTC officials predict that eRecording will become even more widely accepted in the mortgage industry and are driving initiatives to increase adoption.
Brian Ernissee, director of eServices at Nationwide Title Clearing, recently gave a talk entitled “eRecord from a Submitter’s Perspective” as part of a panel at a recent Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) conference. Ernissee spoke about the relative newness of eRecording and how to improve upon the practice and make it widespread, drawing upon NTC’s 20 years of experience with property documents.
The process of submitting paper documents is arduous—documents are submitted by mail or courier to county recording jurisdictions and it can take months before an officially recorded document is returned. The adoption of eRecording is a benefit to all involved by making the recording process simple, fast and secure:
►Substantial reduction in length of time it takes to send, record and return documents;
►Less potential for investor penalties from mail delays or errors;
►Postage costs eliminated;
►Decrease in staff hours spent following up and tracking paper documents
►Increased security and efficiency—documents are tracked through the entire process;
►Original documents never leave the submitters possession;
►Reduction in paper documents overall, which translates to a positive effect on the environment.
The eRecording process consists of the following five-step process: submit, receive, review, record and return. The process differs from traditional paper recording methods, as the original documents never leave one’s possession—documents are scanned and submitted within minutes, and are then returned electronically immediately after recording.
Depending on the jurisdiction, certain document types such as assignments, lien releases and security instruments (mortgages/deeds of trust), are able to be electronically recorded. The process is rapidly becoming the preferred method to submit documents for recording where it is available. Over 840 jurisdictions are currently implementing eRecording, but with 3,600 total counties, NTC recognizes the need for widespread adoption and hopes to see universal eRecording in the not too distant future.
NTC CEO John Hillman expects to see continued wide-spread adoption of e-recording and profound benefits to the industry as a result.
“Electronic recording simplifies the process all around,” said Hillman. “Our industry needs uniformity and will benefit greatly by adopting technology that helps protect our nation’s land records, the mortgage industry and homeowners alike.”