Electronic Recording Goes for Quality

Even as the mortgage recording industry presses for universal adoption of electronic recording (eRecording), quality is beginning to overcome quantity as the measure of success.

Expanding the availability of eRecording across the country was the first priority in moving mortgage recordation into the e-commerce realm. But completing the goal of having all recording jurisdictions adopt the technological resources for eRecording still seems a long way off with only 1,022 of 3,600 jurisdictions adopters of the technology.

eRecording, however, is available to the majority of the population, so two goals stand out. The first is to continue the drive to make eRecording available in counties where it is not. In addition, there is the need to achieve the universal use of eRecording in all transactions.

That is not to underestimate all the hard work that the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) and the lending industry have done in support of eRecording. PRIAand the lending industry have disseminated the message that eRecording saves time and increases the efficiency of the recording process relative to paper. The message has gone out far and wide.

PRIA has also campaigned against the myths which have held back the adoption of eRecording. Dispelling the beliefs by some that electronic documents are less secure than paper or that a recording jurisdiction should wait for

better technology has been central to PRIA’s educational campaigns. And reiterating this message needs to continue.

Accomplishing the quantitative goal of universal adoption of eRecording can be helped by focusing efforts on one key observable qualitative metric—the first-time acceptance rate. Let’s just call it the AC. For starters, we can say this is simply the ratio of submissions that do not need to be resubmitted divided by total submissions.

Every county should track the AC for eRecording versus paper for their top 10 submitters and publish the findings on their websites. The results will illustrate that eRecording speeds up processes since much of the physical work is done before the recorder gets the document. Counties prefer less rework and so do submitters.

Securing lien positions, which is highly time-sensitive, is of utmost importance for lenders. The AC statistic should make clear that one of the many ways to do this is by minimizing fee rejects. Fee rejects are the bane of the recorder and the submitter. When checks do not exactly cover recording costs it can set off a lengthy process of mailing and resubmission. Electronic submission is very effective at reducing this turn time. Counties are paid electronically (via ACH, escrow, or wire) once a document is recorded.

The AC can be an important aid for paper submitters evaluating the efficiency of their processes. It is in the interests of all parties, public and private, to provide objective measures of the recording process.

For non-recording jurisdictions, high ACs among eRecorders can provide a powerful incentive for adoption. For those who have eRecording available, the savings offered by expanding the number of eRecordings should be apparent.

Latha Parameswaran is VP of operations in the document management group for Indecomm Global Services, a provider of business process outsourcing, learning, and technology solutions. With more than 15 years’ experience in the mortgage industry, she is an active PRIA member and eRecording mentor.

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