Friday, October 19, 2007

E-Recording progress

Earlier this week at the Fall Register of Deeds meeting, we discussed how to move forward with electronic recording. Right now, Lowell has been recording documents electronically for more than two years, having recorded 5000+ documents by that method. Now, some of the registries that still are within county government (and who therefore retain more technological independence) are moving forward in a tangible way and should start receiving documents electronically in the coming weeks. The registries that are within the Secretary of State’s office have been on hold, more or less, and the reason for that has not been entirely clear to me. Now, however, we have a plan for moving forward. We will document the electronic recording process and take it to you, the potential users. If you (and representatives of the title insurance industry) find it acceptable, we should be able to turn electronic recording on at all of the registries. It really won’t take off (i.e., be widely accepted by our users) until that happens because if you’re going to go to the effort to learn how to do electronic recording and set up your internal processes to handle it, you’ll want to do it universally, not at just a handful of registries. There’s no timetable yet but hopefully we’ll have something to share with you all by Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 12, 2007

E-Recording seminar aftermath

About 30 people attended the Simplifile electronic recording seminar this past Tuesday at the DoubleTree Hotel in Lowell. Simplifile’s president even flew in from the companies headquarters in Utah. The local rep, Paul Roth (a Burlington, MA attorney) first demonstrated the Simplifile customer interface. At their most basic level, all electronic recording software allows a user to transmit images of original documents along with data about the document that is entered by the customer to the registry for immediate recording. Paul took the presentation up to pressing the “send to the registry” button at which time I took over, showing how the registry processes incoming electronic recordings. In the questions that followed, the audience of experienced real estate lawyers seemed most interested in the “gap” that exists betwen the final rundown on the registry’s website and the time of recording. Everyone recognizes that this is typically only a few minutes, but it is something that must be addressed. Right now, it seems that most title insurance companies are perfectly willing to cover that gap although they don’t seem to be putting anything in writing so far. Although this meeting was hosted and arranged by Simplifile, I’ve already done another such meeting with eRX, another company that does e-recording with us and I will make myself available to any company or group that has an interest in discussing e-recording.