Technology Vendors Move Forward with Electronic Recording Initiatives

Even though the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws is still working on model legislation that would allow for the electronic recording of real estate liens, a number of technology vendors around the nation continue to demonstrate that the technology to make that happen is available now.

One of the biggest obstacles to the routine electronic recording of documents is the differing fees between various county authorities. Atlanta-based DOCX says it has a solution there.

The company has released a new version of its RID software it calls RID Plus. The product enhances the RID product by expanding the fee and requirement data to cover origination document types and by adding the property transfer tax data as well as a decisioning engine to calculate the fees and transfer taxes due at closing.

RID was first released in 1996 as a national database of recorder information, containing data required to record assignment and lien release documents including fees, contacts, addresses and specific county requirements for each of the 3,600 counties nationwide.

The company says 41 of the top 100 lenders use its software, which is also embedded in the FNIS MaxLien Product.

Two other firms have been making progress in this area, Ingeo, Logan, Utah, and U.S. Recordings, St. Paul, Minn.

Ingeo has announced a number of new installations of its eRecord product recently, as well as a number of new business partnerships. Washoe County, Nev., Cook County, Ill., Milwaukee County, Wis., and San Bernadino County, Calif., have all recently signed up to use Ingeo's electronic lien recording software.

"We are three years ahead of the industry in technology development. With the addition of these new counties and the release of our latest eRecord version, there isn't a county in the U.S. that can't take advantage of electronic recording technology," said Todd Hougaard, Ingeo's president and founder. "We've removed all the hurdles for recorders to move ahead."

In Chicago, Cook County recorder Eugene Moore called the Ingeo software "the first step on a long road to eliminating paper from the recording process." That county records about 1.7 million documents each year.

Recorders from the other counties newly added to Ingeo's client list were likewise impressed with the offering.

But other technology vendors have been impressed as well. This summer, Ingeo announced a number of new partnerships, including a number of outsource service providers and national lenders.

Peelle Management Corp., DOCX, American Release Corp. and Charter One Mortgage Corp. have all signed up to use the software to prepare and submit digital lien release documents for electronic recording to county recorders' offices that are electronic recording-enabled, Ingeo said.

"These new participants represent a major expansion in the electronic recording of mortgage documents, and confirms our leadership position," said Mr. Hougaard.

Peelle Management Corp. has national coverage as an outsourced service provider to lending institutions and anticipates submitting to all electronic recording-enabled counties within a few weeks of software installation this summer. The other organizations mentioned will initiate submission of electronic documents shortly. DOCX has selected Ingeo's solution to complement its new e-Release product.

Another technology firm that is seeing success on the e-recording front is U.S. Recordings. The company has been around since 1967 and made a name for itself processing paper documents. That continues to be the company's main thrust, but it recently began offering e-filing with its InteleDoc Plus product.

The company recently announced it has successfully filed an electronic mortgage satisfaction document with Dakota County, Minn., Property Records Office and U.S. Bank.

The company is currently working with three other "pilot" counties in the state - Hennepin, Lyon and Renville - and says it will be processing releases there shortly. (See related story, this page.)

Unlike Ingeo, which provides the software for both the lender and the Recorder's Office, U.S. Recordings' InteleDoc Plus is "sender" software that works with "catcher" software developed by Fidlar Software.

In the first electronic filing, the electronically completed and recorded demonstration document was followed by 32 actual electronic documents, in queue from U.S. Recordings to Dakota County. The process, which under normal paper processing would take an average of 30 days, took less than eight minutes.

Dakota County recorder Joel Beckman says his office will save time and improve resource utilization as it processes a predicted 200,000 documents this year.

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