Wisconsin Counties who are E-recording

BENEFITS OF ELECTRONIC RECORDING

1.   Document submitters can prepare and transmit documents to the register of deeds quickly.

2.   Fewer errors are made on the part of the document submitters and the register of deeds staff because of software system requirements.

3.   Document submitters get immediate feedback when their documents have obvious errors.

4.   Document submitters receive recorded images immediately after they are recorded and do not need to wait weeks or months for the document to be returned in the US Mail.

5.   The register of deeds can review documents for statutory requirements and immediately send back any documents that do not conform to law. Notes can be added explaining the problem and the documents are sent back to the customer electronically.

6.   The register of deeds can process the documents with the push of a button. The e-Recording system records, receipts, indexes, "scans" and "mails" back the document image in one operation. Whereas it would normally take 24 hours to get the document recorded, indexed and scanned, that process takes only seconds with electronic recording.

7.   The historic intent of the notarization process is restored, adding a new level of reliability to documents.

8.   The register of deeds can use electronic recording to address an increasing workload despite county hiring freezes. While the majority of documents will continue to be on paper, over time the use of electronic recording will increase office productivity significantly.

9.   Staff time, printing materials and postage are saved for both the lender and the register of deeds.

BACKGROUND

Racine and Washington Counties began accepting documents for recording electronically in January, 2003. Later that year the Milwaukee County Register of Deeds began recording documents electronically. More counties soon followed, making Wisconsin a leader in the number of counties that are able to accept documents electronically.

E-Recording vendors have been partnering with each other and Wisconsin counties to offer the service of recording electronically. Major lending institutions are recording both "Level 3" and "Level 2" technology. Satisfactions of Mortgage documents are often done using level 3 technology where the document is totally paperless. Level 2 is used for Mortgages, Assignment of Mortgages, and Subordination Agreements that begin life as a paper document with wet signatures and is later scanned and sent with part of the index completed electronically.

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue has created a digital transfer return form in 2009. This project paved the way for recording deeds and other instruments of conveyance electronically.

Though the actual number of documents recorded electronically on a daily basis is relatively small for some counties, this technology holds great potential for the future. For example, Milwaukee County is now accepting over 50% of their documents electronically. This method saves time and money for both customers and the county office of the register of deeds and as the percentage of electronic documents continues to increase, it will become a significant source of efficiency and effectiveness.

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