By Patrick Barnard
If you think a lack of technology adoption among the many rural country recorders' offices is what's slowing adoption of the e-mortgage, you better think again.
More than 1,200 counties - or 68% of the nation's 3,600 recording jurisdictions - now have e-recording systems in place, according to a recent study conducted by the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA).
That basically means two-thirds of recording jurisdictions are capable of electronically recording mortgage documents. Many of them adopted the new technology just within the past two years, and it appears that adoption is accelerating.
"In the past two years, we have witnessed a significant boost in the number of recording jurisdictions enabling e-recording in an effort to streamline their office workflows and increase both efficiencies and turnaround times for their submitters," says Mark Ladd, president of the PRIA and vice president of regulatory and industry affairs at Simplifile, in a statement.
Larry Burtness, technology committee co-chair for PRIA and the recorder for Washoe County, Nev., explains that between August 2013 and November 2014, "the number of counties committing to the e-recording process increased by more than 20 percent."
"As the PRIA e-recording standards continue to mature, the number of counties leveraging this technology continues to expand," he adds.
In a recent interview with MortgageOrb, Tim Anderson, director of e-services at DocMagic, says, "Contrary to popular myth, there has been a lot of progress toward counties accepting e-recording.
"Currently, there are 1,204 counties that accept e-recording, representing more than 68% of the population in the country, so we are well beyond the tipping point for acceptance," Anderson says. "Now that the Consumer Financial protection Bureau is pushing e-closing in response to the pending new disclosure regulations, I think we are going to see even more rapid adoption."
According to PRIA's tracking system, it took from the late 1990s until August 2006 to reach the 200 e-recording counties mark. Since 2006, an additional 1,000 counties have stepped up to enable the electronic recordation of documents.
"Recording offices aren't the only ones who benefit from e-recording," explains Diane Evans, president of the American Land Title Association. "An important part of improving the consumer experience at the closing table is to ensure documents are recorded efficiently and without delay. Electronic recording helps local title companies address ALTA's best practice guidelines that call for timely recording of documents and tracking document rejections and re-submissions."
As PRIA points out, e-recording also gives lenders a competitive edge by decreasing turnaround time and speeding up the transaction process.