Many of the Counties in Southern Ohio have electronic recording for both documents and conveyances, however North East Ohio Counties have lagged behind. The primary reason they have lagged behind in electronic recording of deeds is the combined need to pay both conveyance fee and record, therefore requiring the auditor and recorder to work together.
For whatever the reason, electronic recording of conveyance documents is not available in Northeastern Ohio counties, such as Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, and Summit. Please don’t include Trumbull County in that mix as they got there stuff together and has allowed electronic recording since October of 2018.
What difference does it make? it did not seem that much of an issue until the last few weeks, when we are seeking everyone to stay away from public spaces and groups. Unfortunately for the County’s like Cuyahoga and Lake that will be receiving large numbers of documents that went through countless number of hands.
Walking through a normal closing procedure, you would have a deed, which hopefully will be delivered to the escrow agent prepared electronically. (Our office delivers the documents in this way, and would be happy to prepare deeds for electronic delivery, to you as well — SHAMELESS ADD HERE) The mortgage documents will be delivered in the same manner of electronic delivery. The documents would then be signed by the buyer (mortgage) and seller (deed), so those documents come into contract with 4 – 6 people (Escrow agent and closer, 2 buyers 2 sellers). If there was electronic recording of conveyances, these documents would be delivered back to the escrow agent, and then filed for record, without any other person to person interaction.
However, because there is not electronic recording in Cuyahoga or Lake Counties (others as well.. not singling anyone out) the next step is the mortgage and deed are delivered to a runner, who takes the documents to the County administration building, where the runner provides those documents to an employee of the auditor’s office and then an employee of the recorder’s office. The documents will then be given back to the runner or mailed back to the escrow agent.
As a result of not adopting electronic recording the recording process adds at least 3 more people required to be in direct contact with each other. Now multiple this but the thousands of real estate transaction that will close just for the rest of the month of March.
How many exposures to the virus will occur needlessly as a result of the Counties failures to adopt electronic recording of conveyances?