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BRIDGING THE GAP

Coordination between State and County Offices and the Mortgage Industry

Nationwide Title Clearing (NTC) is in a unique position seated between the mortgage industry and state and county government entities when it comes to the recordability of mortgage related documents. Each have their own requirements and needs that don’t always agree with each other. When they don’t agree NTC ends up translating and bridging the gap.

Navigating the complications of 3,600+ recording jurisdictions is paramount to NTC’s success. We know, and deeply understand, these requirements. Our teams consistently examine the counties looking for changes and updates on fees, font, margin, data fields, signature and language requirements. Our forms library is unrivaled when it comes to Assignments of Mortgage and Lien Release documents as to accuracy, efficacy and recordability.

NTC is also in a unique position to observe the “disconnect” between private and government agencies specific to real property records. NTC’s close connection to the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) allows us to have a voice with county recorders. In addition to that our outreach during our normal course of business, contacting counties, combined with the large volumes we process each month for our clients enables us to see where the “disconnects” lie which helps us to bridge the gap.

We often find that our clients are busy making headway into what works for them; streamlining the process and making the borrowers experience a better one. However, the county tends to be left out of this conversation. NTC through its work with PRIA helps give a voice to our clients and allows us to improve our process with county recorders which in turns helps our clients and in the end the borrower benefits from a smooth and timely transaction.

How we control the recordability of our documents 

The process for handling rejected documents is a pain point for everyone in the industry. Based on years of experience, I would say this is the number one issue of disconnect. An organizations goal is to get the document recorded which ends the lending process and completes the transfer and release of the lien, which is often needed in order to refinance and restart the process again. Speed is paramount.

When documents are rejected it puts a wrench into what is otherwise a fast and swift process here at NTC. Having this close connection to counties allows us to be successful in the following ways:

  • Quickly understand the reason for the reject
  • Correct the reject
  • Incorporate measures to prevent future rejects

NTC maintains one of the nation’s fastest reject turnaround times. This is in no small measure to our connection with county recorders and helps to ensure that NTC’s forms are the most recordable documents within our industry.

When it comes to government and industry decision makers; as I’ve touched on above, NTC’s client base and membership with PRIA enables us to gain access to county officials and industry senior executives that we would not normally have access to. NTC has been pivotal in sharing its knowledge base on many industry issues through education seminars and workgroups within PRIA and with our clients. These efforts help strengthen our ties with county recorders directly and helps to disseminate the issues that mortgage servicer’s experience which leads to efficiency enhancements on both sides. Some of our most enjoyable efforts include sharing a room with both private and government representatives creating a best practice paper on “certified copies” or a white paper such as “remote online notarization (RON)”. This type of connection is extremely valuable for our company and clients.

Our clients are confident with NTC’s ability to solve issues on a county level, after all, we both have the same goal in preserving the integrity of our land records. We want an accurate and correct document on record that validates the chain of title, not breaks it.

Counties will often turn to NTC to help solve issues they are experiencing. As an example, the MN County Recorders Association reached out to NTC due to a problem the entire state was facing with legal sized documents being submitted via eRecord. This was an issue that most counties in Minnesota were experiencing in that the image of the document was being cut off due to settings on their end. The easy solution was to ask NTC to switch to a letter size document. NTC accommodated the request and almost instantly handled a major issue due to the high volumes they receive from us.

 Our unique membership with PRIA …

Our PRIA relationship in unique in that there are only a few lenders or “submitters” represented within the organization. NTC helps provide a different view to the association which is otherwise not represented as much as it could be. The way we view this, is the education, seminars, webinars, white papers and best practices that are created by PRIA are only as good as the experts who are creating them. PRIA is creating industry standards and NTC is happy to be the voice for many who might not be represented otherwise. In closing, NTC has the ability to connect all the dots. Everyone in our industry wants a well-oiled machine in the lending process from beginning to end. NTC sees the current initiatives in play for our industry. Every issue plaguing our clients, namely an end-to-end electronic process, plague NTC too. Every solution we have implemented to improve our process has resulted in real insight as to the “dots” that need connecting and we witness changes that help on both sides.

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About the Author:

Brian Ernissee is a Vice President at Nationwide Title Clearing, Inc. who oversees the Lien Release and Assignment document production. Under Brian’s direction, NTC has increased its eRecording capability to nearly 85% of total volume and has established benchmark compliance systems in the areas of document review, document forms review and signing authority. Brian is a board member and officer of PRIA having co-chaired many best practices standards guidelines for the Property Records Industry. Brian was hired by Nationwide Title Clearing, Inc. in 2000.

Email: Brian_Ernissee@nwtc.com

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