Friday, June 10, 2005
Along with a handful of electronically recorded documents, we also received a thoughtful email today from a local attorney (and avid blog reader) who was surprised to discover that the first documents recorded electronically were mortgages and who speculated about the impact this new technology will have on the local conveyancing attorney and the title examiners who populate registry record halls. My answer will be a long one, so today’s entry will be supplemented on Monday. As for recording mortgages electronically, I don’t consider it to be a revolutionary development. This may come as news to some of you, but many of the big national banks and mortgage companies rely on the U.S. mail to record their mortgages which are often weeks or even months old when they arrive at the registry of deeds. I’ve always assumed that if you mail a document to the registry to be recorded, you’re not unduly concerned with what gets recorded immediately before it or how quickly it gets recorded, as long as it’s within a reasonable period of time. Consequently, I consider documents sent by mail to be “time insensitive.” When a human being actually comes to the registry, does a run down on our public access computers, and stands at the counter until we’re done recording a document, I always consider that document to be “time sensitive.” Where do electronically recorded documents fit in this picture. Right now, the documents being sent to us are “time insensitive” – if they weren’t transmitted electronically they would have been sent through the mail. But the system is certainly capable of handling “time sensitive” documents such as deeds and mortgages. It’s just that we at the registry are not quite ready to deal with them yet – we need to acquire a better feel for the system first, something we can only do by recording things over a multi-week period. I’ll address the implications of that on Monday, but for now, I have to say that electronic recording will not put title examiners and lawyers out of business – as long as they embrace the capabilities of the technology and change their business practices to take advantage of it.
Posted by Dick at 6/10/2005 05:36:00 PM