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Register of Deeds Offices in Racine and Washington Counties, Wisconsin, Initiate Electronic Document Recording

3/3/2003 12:00:00 AM

Mark Ladd and Sharon Martin, register of deeds for Racine and Washington counties in Wisconsin, announced the successful installation and integration of paperless electronic document recording technology today, adding to the growing number of leading recording offices across the nation that are conducting business-to-government digital commerce and electronic recording of land records. The recently installed Ingeo Electronic Recording System in both Racine and Washington counties was integrated with their existing Land Records Management software from TriMin Systems to allow mortgage servicers to prepare and submit digital lien releases to the county register of deeds offices without using a single piece of paper. The electronically submitted documents can be manually or automatically processed without any human intervention, reducing recording time from days or weeks to an average of 45 seconds, with overall processing times of minutes. Ingeo and TriMin applications use advanced digital document technology based on the industry's SMART document standards, endorsed by national recording, banking, and mortgage industries. Secure communication standards keep all document interactions and transmissions private. Digital signatures verify document content and signer identity, providing important non-repudiation for submitted records. The successful project began almost a year ago when Ladd and Dorothy "Tina" Gonnering, now retired register of deeds for Washington County, considered implementation of an all-electronic recording system that would result in a totally integrated system. The counties jointly selected Ingeo's Electronic Recording System to integrate with TriMin System's Land Records Management System (LRMS) already in use for five years in both county offices. Since TriMin's LRMS runs on the counties' existing IBM iSeries computers, the integrated solution protects the technology investments the counties have already made. Both counties had similar technology solutions and recording processes in place and chose to capitalize on the synergy of a joint project approach, creating a project team consisting of county technology support personnel, both county register of deeds, as well as personnel from Ingeo and TriMin Systems. Later, team members were added from Educators Credit Union and Associated Bank, the submitters of electronically prepared documents that participated in the installation project and are continuing use of the electronic recording system. As a leader in initiating national land records management standards, and an active member in national recorders associations, Ladd has been on the forefront of digital document automation efforts. His involvement in national efforts has contributed to the realization of electronic recording across the nation, and now in his own county. "I feel like I've been pushing a big rock up a very steep hill for a long time and it's finally going to go over the edge tomorrow," said Ladd on the eve of the county's first successful electronic recording. With Gonnering's retirement pending, early project efforts included her successor, Sharon Martin. Martin's early involvement in the project, before Gonnering's retirement, made for an easy transition in this role of authority. Gonnering said numerous times the day the first documents were processed, "This is better than retirement. This is so exciting!" Martin echoed those sentiments: "This new system is bringing major innovation to our office. What a great way to start my role as a newly elected register of deeds."

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