Monthly Archives: May 2015

“Yes, you can have the keys…as soon as the closing attorney drives to the Registry of Deeds, then waits in line to record….it should only take another four or five hours!”

Well, like the buggy whip and vinyl record album, that statement, spoken by countless Realtors over the years, is fast becoming a thing of the past.  And we owe the disappearance of long waits in line to record deeds, mortgages, and other documents needed to convey real property to technology that has seemingly worked its way into every facet of American life.  In this case it is Electronic Recording, also know as e-recording, which has been available for almost a half-decade.   Not only have we seen this important technological advancement in Massachusetts, but in most parts of the country as well.  Here in Massachusetts, there actually exists a “Registry of Deeds Modernization and Efficiency Commission” that is working hard to assist real estate lawyers, lenders, and property owners in streamlining the once mundane and archaic task of registering important real estate-related legal documents in order to put the world on notice as to who owns what and who owes who!

What exactly is e-recording?  The answer is fairly simple.  With the assistance of imaging technology, the internet, and secure e-recording portal service companies like CSC, PPDocs and Erxchange, to name a few, closing attorneys can now scan documents from a real estate closing table (like a municipal lien certificate, deed, mortgage and homestead), upload those documents through a secure portal company, which in turn checks the documents and then transmits them directly to the selected Registry of Deeds.  At that point, Registry of Deeds personnel view the documents sent, verify the quality of the image and the accuracy of the data (in the same manner they would if the original document was presented in-person to a Recording Clerk), and then accept them for recording.  Payment of the recording fees is automatically debited directly from an account set up by the sender (in this scenario, a closing attorney), and a receipt of proof of recording is emailed to the sender containing the recording information and confirmation of the exact charges for the recording.  The e-recording portal service companies charges a minimal service fee of about $4.00 to $5.00 per document–a small price to pay for the convenience and speed.  Final lien checks and title rundowns are also handled from the closing attorney’s desktop with real-time electronic recording data available by the participating Registries of Deeds.

Now, nothing is without its issues.  For example, if you transmit a package of documents and one of those documents contain an error, like a misspelling in a name from one document to the next, the entire “package” of documents transmitted will be rejected and bounced back to the sender as unrecordable.  This, unfortunately, can cause delay because after the error is corrected and the package is transmitted once again by the sender, the package goes to the end of the recording queue and time is lost.  Also, there are still a few Massachusetts Registries that don’t accept e-recordings, and Land Court/Registered Land Property (Torrens System) documents still must be recorded in person, where originals are collected and kept on file.

What’s next to make things faster, better, easier?  Who really knows!  To quote the late founder of Apple Computer, Steve Jobs, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

 

Tedesco headshotRobert W. Tedesco, principal and founder of Tedesco Law Offices, P.C., is a Woburn-based Attorney with twenty-five years of experience handling all types of transactional matters including representing buyers, sellers, exchangers and lenders in residential and commercial real estate transactions.  He also works with clients assisting in the sale and acquisition of small businesses, property management and tenant matters, condominium conversion, as well as estate planning and settlement.  His offices are located at 88 Main Street, Woburn, Massachusetts and can be reached at:  781-933-9293 or via email at: rwt@tedescolawoffices.com.   You can check out his website at: www.tedescolawoffices.com