Assignments, Releases & Other Title Issues: County Land Records

With the refinancing boom slowing down, portfolio churning is no longer the bane of servicers. But that doesn't mean that assignments, lien releases and title issues have gone off the radar screen.

The paperwork entailed by lien and property ownership recording requirements can be enormous. The nation's 3,700-plus counties each have distinct requirements and procedures for recording and releasing homeownership and lien records. That means that for many lenders, the only way to keep track of it all is to turn to an outsourcer. Fortunately, any number of companies are available to help lenders in this regard and the industry has been capitalizing on advances in technology to streamline recording and lien-release issues.

One hot trend is the increasing use of electronic recording, which has been embraced by many counties. Years ago, Orange County, Calif., was a leader in this initiative. But today, counties in most major metropolitan areas have adopted e-recording to one extent or another. Electronic recording of lien releases is a particularly promising area, with companies like Nationwide Title Clearing, U.S. Recordings and Ingeo all playing a role in helping lenders take advantage of the latest advances in recording technology.

Because land records are so vital to the industry, mortgage servicers are doing their best to prevent fraud and make sure that legal recording requirements are met. The changes and automation taking hold today will help to ensure that the next refinancing boom is a little bit easier for the industry to manage.

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