Faqs For Submitters
How does eRecording Work? Learn that and more in FAQs for Submitters
Is eRecording legal?
As of 2015, all the states in the nation have approved one or both of the following acts: (1) The Uniform Electronic Transaction Act, or UETA, establishing the legal equivalence of electronic records and signatures to the traditional paper documents and wet ink signatures; and, (2) The Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, or URPERA, authorizing local land records officials to accept records in the new electronic format. The only states not offering eRecording are Kentucky, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.
The number of counties across the nation that accept eRecording continue to increase. According to the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) almost 77% of the US population resides in a county that eRecords.
The physical process
The best way to describe the eRecording process is to think of the internet as an electronic version of your current courthouse runner or Fed Ex package. The documents are scanned and become images and are submitted securely via the internet to the courthouse. The image is recorded at the courthouse and returned to you through a secure internet connection.
What do I need?
In order to use eRecording, you need a PC running Internet Explorer, a scanner connected to the PC, and access to high-speed internet. In addition, you need a contract in place with an eRecording vendor like ePN. The contract will set you up as a qualified submitter and outline the payment process for the recording and submitting fees.
How does it work?
Once a closing has been completed, you need to scan the documents and store them on your computer. Then you will access the ePN web-based eRecording software and attach your scanned images. You will also need to enter some identifying information about the documents to make sure they can be tracked correctly.
The ePN system then uses encryption security to transmit the documents to the courthouse. Once received, the County Register or Clerk will record the documents and submit them securely back to you along with the recording stamp and other appropriate information. This process can be completed in minutes and hours as opposed to days or weeks.
Most people then print out the first and last page of the recorded document and attach them to the original documents which never left your office. This package can then be submitted to the final destination: whether that is the title insurance company, lender, or new owner.
Why would I want to submit documents this way?
There are several reasons to consider using eRecording. The biggest reason is to reduce the turnaround time. The shorter turnaround time also is an advantage if a document is rejected. The issue can be addressed and the document resubmitted on the same day. This shorter turnaround time will also reduce the gap period. An additional benefit for submitters who deal with multiple counties is to eliminate escrow accounts at each county or having to issue individual checks for each transaction. Since ePN pays the fees to the county, you only have to settle with one party. Some submitters have also been able to reduce their courier fees as a result of eRecording but it depends on how your office business processes are set up. eRecording also creates an electronic record of when documents were submitted to the County to help you comply with ALTA Best Practices #4.
What is the cost and how are payments made?
ePN will pay the county recording fees and then get reimbursed from you via an Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit from your account on a daily basis. In addition, ePN will charge a transaction fee of $4 per document recorded that can be paid via ACH on a daily or monthly basis. ePN does not charge a setup or on-going annual fee. You only pay per document recorded and if a document is rejected, you are not charged.
What if the county rejects my document?
If a document is rejected, you are not charged for recording fees or the transaction fee. The document is returned to you with a reason why it was rejected. You are then able to make the needed correction and resubmit the document. In the event one document of a multi-document package is rejected, the whole package will be returned to you so that you can keep the integrity of the document sequence.
The most common reasons we have found for rejections deal with image quality and not meeting the county requirements for first page margins. Each county has their own margin requirements based on where they place their endorsement stamp. To help reduce rejections on the front end, the ePN system stores the requirements for each county and provides you a guide or template that shows those specific requirements. If potential issues are identified, the ePN software provides you tools for error correction within the software so most of the time you do not need to rescan the document.
Where can I eRecord?
Nationally, about a third of the counties are accepting some form of eRecording. The list is changing regularly so please contact us to discuss the status of eRecording in specific areas. As a reminder, you can submit documents to counties and states outside of your local area thru eRecording.