Recording for Law Firms: More Than Just A Deed
Deeds and mortgages aren't the only documents your firm manages and records. Understanding the ways efficient recording of other documents—like powers of attorney, affidavits, and personal estate documents—can make your business transactions much smoother.Learn more and read the transcript
Join us for a discussion of recording for law firms, as well as a comprehensive look at CSC's electronic recording (eRecording) services with new features to assist you in all aspects of document recording. This hour-long webinar will provide an overview of our full suite of eRecording services designed with law firms in mind.
Disclaimer: Please be advised that this recorded webinar has been edited from its original format, which may have included a product demo. To set up a live demo or to request more information, please complete the form to the right. Or if you are currently not on CSC Global, there is a link to the website in the description of this video. Thank you.
Caitlin: Hello, everyone, and welcome to today's webinar, "Recording for Law Firms: More Than Just a Deed." My name is Caitlin Alaburda, and I will be your moderator.
Joining us today are Sarah Savery and Andrew Singleton. Sarah is a CSC electronic recording national account manager for CSC in Wilmington, Delaware. In her role, she onboard submitters to our eRecording digital tools and assists in new client acquisition. Since joining the eRecording team in 2018, Sarah works with leading title underwriters, real estate firms, and leading institutions throughout the country. She provides first-class training and customer service as well as live demonstrations. Andy is the national account manager and corporate consultant for CSC based out of Wilmington, Delaware. He joined the team in 2015, and his role includes onboarding submitters to CSC's eRecording digital tools and new client acquisition.
And with that, let's welcome Sarah and Andy.
Andy: Thank you, Caitlin, and I want to thank everyone who's joining us today to view this webinar. Sarah and I have worked on it extensively over the past couple weeks. It's some great content, and it's specifically geared for our law firm clients.
Before we get into it, I just want to get over or review some things relative to CSC as a whole. We are a business, legal, and financial services company that provides knowledge-based solutions to clients worldwide. We currently service more than 90% of the Fortune 500 companies, more than 90% of the Best 100 Global Brands, and we serve well over 10,000 law firms throughout the country. We provide world-class client service, and we're privately held and professionally managed.
This slide here is CSC's global footprint. As you can see, we cover North America, Europe, and the Asian-Pacific markets. In the USA, we have offices pretty much all over all over the country. Because we act as registered agents, we have to have locations in every state throughout the country. This map here displays our global footprint on a world scale.
On this slide is a list of the various solutions and services that CSC as a whole provides. Again, CSC is the trusted partner of choice for more than 90% of the Fortune 500, more than 90% of the 100 Best Global Brands, and more than 70% of the PEI 300. We are a global company capable of doing business wherever our clients are, and we accomplish that by employing experts in every business that we serve. Our tagline is we are the business behind the business. And here you'll see our services broken down. We have business administration and compliance, fund solutions, transaction and lending, domain security and brand protection, and capital markets.
All right. So before we get started, here's some additional services, law firm services that CSC provides, which includes representation services, secured transaction services, corporate filings, international services, global financial services, finally domain and brand services.
And with that, I'm going to introduce my colleague and fellow eRecording expert Sarah Savery.
Sarah: Thank you, Andy, for that very warm introduction, but one correction on that. I like to say in this industry there are no experts, just eager students because certainly we have such a wide-ranging and diverse base of not only clients but also county jurisdictions. So I think we'll cover a lot of that today with the different document types and documents that certain jurisdictions accept.
But before we kind of dive into the meat and potatoes of today's agenda, let's talk about why CSC for eRecording services. CSC is the leading provider of business, legal, tax, and digital brand services to companies around the globe. Our eRecording system bridges the gap between submitters and county offices. It enables easier document creation and a faster recordation process. So important to note also that CSC was first to market with an eRecording solution, and our services remain the benchmark for speed, efficiency, and security.
So on today's agenda for this webinar we're going to discuss electronic recording (eRecording) with CSC. We are going to dive into even some particulars about what else can be eRecorded because, of course, when we think about eRecording and we think about our business model, we primarily are thinking about purchase transactions. So we're thinking about deeds and mortgages. But, in fact, there are a wide range of other available document types that you can record electronically and submit at the county level.
We're going to talk a little bit about our value philosophy, value regardless of volume. So even if you are not a frequent submitter of eRecording, there is still lots of benefit of having an account with CSC. State-specific processes, as I kind of mentioned before, every county is just a little bit different, every state is a little bit different. It's important that you are partnered with a company that knows the ins and outs of those different jurisdictions.
We're going to talk a little bit about our paper recording services. Our paper team, which is based in Tallahassee and is an integrated service within the ePrepare system. We're going to discuss the county fee calculator estimate, and we're going to preview a little demonstration of that later on today. Discuss our custom email notifications processes. Do a Q&A, and of course the ever-awaited and exciting time of the product demo.
And with that, a little bit about eRecording with CSC. We were the first to market eRecording in 1999 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. We're partnered with nearly 2,200 counties throughout the country, and that encompasses nearly 88% of the U.S. population. eRecording is not just for real estate transactions. And when you do eRecord with CSC, you have access to a world-class support team, filled with individuals with years of real estate experience, as well as a dedicated account manager to assist you with setup and any questions throughout.
Andy: Thank you, Sarah. On this slide we're going to review what the header is. More than just a deed, what else can be eRecorded in counties throughout the country? And I have listed here just a few common document types, and I'll review them real quick.
Liens and transfer of liens, plat and surveys, notices and memos, estate planning type documents, judgments and abstracts, affidavits, HOA-related documents, for our construction side permits and notice of commencements. We have right-of-ways, easements. Anything that's oil, gas, and mineral related can be eRecorded. Of course, powers of attorney are very popular and very common. Assignments and releases or satisfactions of mortgages. Modifications, amendments. Even medical liens can be eRecorded, as well as divorce decrees. On the county level, various types of UCCs, from 1s to 3s to amendments to financial UCC documents can be eRecorded, among many others.
So the point being here is this is just a small sample of what else, outside of the title and mortgage space, that can be processed and eRecorded through our platform throughout the country in all the counties that accept eRecording.
Sarah, what's your thoughts? Does anything on this list stand out to you?
Sarah: Even though it seems like it's quite an exhaustive list, what stands out to me really is just that it isn't. It's so funny. I mean, you might have neighboring counties where when you begin to eRecord, one county accepts 240 different types of documents through eRecording, and then another county accepts 37. I mean, it really does sort of run the gamut that wide. I was speaking to a client just a couple of weeks ago, and he referred to counties as mini countries. And I thought that was pretty apropos at that point.
But I think it's really important here to understand not just that you can record a myriad of different documents through the platform, but also that you have the expertise of our team to guide. Let's say in the example that you don't see a document that matches your document type exactly. I mean, with that scenario, Andy, if that was your customer reaching out and saying, "Hey, you know, Andy I'm trying to record XYZ document, but I just don't see it listed here, does that mean that the county doesn't accept it?" I mean, where would you direct them?
Andy: Yeah, not necessarily. You may have something . . . A county may accept something that's just kind of all-encompassing, like an assignment for example, where that assignment could be assignment of anything, assignment of leases or rent, assignments of mortgage and things like that. There may be a deed document type that's all encompassing that would include a quitclaim deed that an estate planning firm may record as well. So chances are the counties will accept it electronically. It's just finding that document type that that county calls it. And many counties also have a other or miscellaneous category, kind of a catch-all, where everything else can be labeled as miscellaneous or other and ultimately be submitted and recorded under document type.
Yeah. So and I'll add real quick, Sarah, and if I'm forgetting any, please remind me, but different types of law firms, right, that accept eRecording, not just real estate law firms as we've mentioned before, but the estate planning law firms, environmental law, energy law, health care law, tax firms, they all can eRecord their documents. You and I have worked with plenty over the years that their firm does all kinds of law types, right, but their real estate law or their environmental law group may not know that their real estate law firm can eRecord documents or vice versa. So it's really just an education. It's an opportunity to educate firms that operate under multiple business models that they can use CSC and use eRecording for just about all of their processes.
Sarah: I think you're absolutely right, Andy. And even in cases where let's say you're talking about a firm that's got a national presence, right? I mean, we've got plenty of customers that are massively large law firms, that run coast to coast, and just depending on the different areas of law that they practice and sometimes even their location, right, you can really see that wide variety of different document types being run through our platform, technically through one account, and how different every single one of those documents really is.
I mean, I think at the end of the day, when we're talking about sort of the theme for this webinar and getting into all of the different areas that can be serviced through eRecording and the different documents that can be recorded through our system, it's just going to continue to expand. Even as new counties adopt eRecording, I know that there's always efforts to expand the types of documents that are accepted, because at the end of the day there's obviously a vested interest, once a county begins eRecording, to accept more and more documents electronically. Especially after the last couple of years and when we had the shutdown, more and more counties are moving away from wanting to process anyone's paper.
Andy: Absolutely. Absolutely. Sarah, let's have a conversation about the first one, liens and lien transfers. What types of liens do some of your clients . . . you have the typical, just a basic lien, when you want to put a lien on a property. But yeah, anything else that . . . How expansive is our lien processes within ePrepare?
Sarah: No, it's really expansive, and it's interesting that we kind of start with liens because again, when we we're kind of looking at the industry and we're talking about obviously real estate being down, there's a certain ebb and flow that occurs in recording, right, where okay maybe purchase might be down, but in this case perhaps liens and foreclosures and things of that nature are up. I had an entire firm in Florida that all they did was medical liens, and it was an expansive amount of documents that are filed. Of course, mechanic's liens would be another one that go on record.
And even to your point, Andy, some counties might have it spelled out, 13 different types of liens, and then another might just literally any sort of lien they're accepting through a broad category.
Andy: Yeah. And a new feature that we rolled out earlier this year is that schedule send capability, and I find that most commonly used with our clients that record liens.
Andy: And we'll touch upon that later on. But within ePrepare, you have the ability to schedule documents, not just liens, but any document to be sent at a certain date and time. And a lot of our clients will go in on the 1st of the month, prepare all of their liens, have everything ready to go, and once say the 15th rolls around and the liens haven't been satisfied, it's scheduled to be sent at that date and time. So that's a really nice feature and one that we've seen our lien clients really take advantage of and enjoy.
One thing that stands out to me, Sarah, and maybe you can elaborate on this a little bit, but it's more of a question, when you talk to a client or a prospective client for e-recording, how often do they say, "Oh, I didn't know you were the same CSC. We use CSC for representation or for registered agent, or what have you"? And it turns out they didn't know that we had eRecording, and that's when it gets into the web of, well, we have a real estate division that could probably really use you guys. And that's where we really get into a lot of things with our current law firm clients.
Sarah: Oh, all the time all the time. All the time. It just goes to show the relationships that we have across so many different business models are so expansive, and typically customers who are using us for eRecording, they were already using us for something else. So it's kind of like this is the CSC that I know and trust, and we're expanding and letting them know about an additional service. So how often does that happen? More often than not, Andy.
Andy: I agree.
Sarah: Absolutely more often than not, especially at conferences.
Andy: Yeah, I agree. I agree. Yeah, and it's good to have that established, like you said, that established relationship with a firm that knows and trusts CSC and has for years. It just makes that transition . . . It makes our jobs a little easier to convince them go ahead and make the transition to eRecording and start using and add eRecording to their to their list of services that CSC can provide for them.
And I'll finish up here, Sarah, real quick. Just you had mentioned the county knowledge. So within ePrepare, we have a County Knowledge link, if you will, and you can go to that County Knowledge link, and Sarah will show that later on during the presentation, and you can review every county's list of accepted document types. Sarah has touched upon one county may have 200 documents that they'll allow to be eRecorded, and the neighboring county may only allow 30 and vice versa.
So what you see here is a small sample of what can be eRecorded. But within that County Knowledge model within ePrepare you can get a list of every document that every county can accept electronically.
Sarah: Great point, Andy.
Andy: So here we're going to discuss value regardless of volume. We have many submitters. We have some of the largest institutions, financial institutions that use our ePrepare system, where they're recording thousands and tens of thousands of documents a month. And then we have many other clients where they only need it a couple times a month, right, so and then everything in between. And we want to on this slide display the reasons or the value regardless of what your volume is.
For example, we have flexible fee schedules for both low and high volume submitters. You have access to our entire network. You have unlimited users. Anyone within your organization can have access to the account. We have multiple office feature. We have multiple types of payment options available. We also provide a detailed report library for reconciliation and, of course, our state-of-the-art archive repository.
Sarah, anything here that you want to add or you would like to expand upon?
Sarah: Yeah. It just kind of makes me think, and I hate to kind of keep circling back towards the time when courthouses were shut down, but I received so many panicked calls from paralegals and attorneys during that time, that perhaps had reached out to another vendor and because they were not recording X amount per month, they were unwilling to set up an account for them. So I'm always sort of reminded that we're pretty fortunate to work for a company where we take a lot into consideration when we are evaluating the relationships that we have with our clients and, of course, the pricing that is available to those clients. And I do truly believe that even if you're recording a handful or a dozen documents per year, there is value to be found in having a state-of-the-art system where you can submit those documents securely and ensure that those documents are recorded with the clerk's office in a timely way.
So definitely within the platform and sort of our pricing structure, I mean, you said it all, Andy. It's value regardless of volume through that. How about you?
Andy: I agree. Yeah. We like to get to know our customers. We want to learn their current processes because we know what we offer will simply make their lives easier. But we do want to find out what they're recording, where, things like that to make sure that what we have to offer them, they can maximize our platform and truly take advantage of everything that it can offer. It's not one-stop shop, this is the fees, take it or leave it kind of thing. We want to get to learn what your processes are and then take it from there in terms of let's find a fee schedule that that fits what you're doing and what you're working with.
The entire network availability, when you create an account with us, you have access to every county that we're partnered with right from the start and then any additional counties that we go live with thereafter. We add anywhere between 5 to 10 counties every week to our network. And there's no need to reach out to us and say I need access to this county or that county. You have access to every county when you create an account with us.
Unlimited users. Sarah and I talked about it previously, where we have nationwide law firms. And actually the multiple office feature can speak to this as well, both the unlimited users and multiple office feature, where some of our national scale law firms, where they each have their own your location eRecording, but within those locations you can have unlimited users. Anyone within your organization can have access to those respective accounts, and it's not limited to just a handful of people per location.
Any thoughts on that, Sarah? Anything that you'd like to add on that?
Sarah: Yeah. I mean, again, I have had plenty of nationwide law firms that run the gamut of every industry, and something that's not touched on here too much, but the report section has really been sort of something that has elevated their backend processes. So you think about the value just of having the electronic recording of the document and the prompt and secure recording the document, but it is amazing how backend processes can be improved for accounts payable teams who are responsible sometimes on a regional level, sometimes on a national level for reconciliation on some of these recordings for the different law firms.
Andy: That's a good point. And if we were to do this demo a year, two, or three years ago, some of this stuff wasn't available. And why it's available now is because we've solicited and we constantly ask for feedback from our submitter base. And we have a development team that's constantly developing our product, right? We value our feedback from our customers. We listen to them, and if it makes sense, if it's doable, then we'll make it happen within ePrepare.
The detailed report library is a perfect example of that. When I first started here, there was just a handful of different reports that you could generate at any point in time within ePrepare. Now there's I believe 25 different types of reports that touch on just about everything from user statistics to various types of financial reports and things like that.
So the point that I'm making there, that I want to make there is that our dev team is always working to improve our product, and we get that or we make those improvements based upon the information and feedback that we get back from our current submitters.
Sarah: All right. Let's dive into some state-specific processes. So again, we talk more and more and more about all of the different industries that eRecord, but it's important to also remember sort of all of the players on the county side. And there are some specifics that are county specific and state specific.
So just touching on some of those, the North Carolina Administration of Courts, the AOC, we are integrated with that. That is a feature available within ePrepare for North Carolina. Illinois, MyDec deeds portal, Georgia GSCCCA portal, the New York Acris system of course, Hawaii Bureau of Conveyances, California the Secure and CeRTNA portal requirements, in Minnesota, when you're selecting abstracts versus torrens, Massachusetts Land Court Registry. Tennessee has a requirement with that certificate of authenticity. And, of course, cover sheets.
Now as I'm kind of going through that, one thing that kind of stands out to me, Andy, is California because it's so interesting because up until really just two years ago, in the state of California, the only industries that were able to electronically record there were title companies and institutional lenders. So it's really only within the last two years that that industry has opened up for attorneys in California.
Andy: Yeah, that's true. And underwriters and government agencies could also record, in addition to those two that you mentioned. Back in 2016, the state of California passed legislation to expand for eRecording, to allow other entity types to eRecord. But like you said, it went into effect I think it was January of 2020 it went into effect, that allowed for law firms and attorneys and other entity types to eRecord.
Now, we mentioned Secure and CeRTNA, the two portals, statewide portals that are in California, and we're integrated through Secure and CeRTNA. So any submitter that wants to record in the state of California, about half the counties participate in Secure. Maybe the other half or so participate in CeRTNA. And ultimately, when you record documents through ePrepare, it's transmitted through either the Secure or CeRTNA portal, ultimately landing at the county level to be executed, recorded, and returned back to you.
But that's a good point. Another thing too that stands out to me, Sarah, is the cover sheets, right? All over, it seems like every state has some cover sheet requirement. I think in New Jersey, for example, where all of their counties require cover sheets. Do you want to expand on how we handle that, how we do cover sheets in ePrepare?
Sarah: That's going to vary, to your point, Andy, of course, county by county, state by state. In some circumstances, just sort of by way of eRecording, the need for a cover sheet is eliminated. In some circumstances, we are generating that cover sheet sort of on the backend for you. And then there's some circumstances where you have the option to either upload, if you have a prepared cover sheet, you can upload it into the system, or you can use our digital, our level three environment to actually create, generate, and execute a cover sheet within our system, and then it kind of transmits and turns into a level two document when it's submitted to the county for recording.
So I think, at the end of the day, the point here is that not only are you partnering with a company for an eRecording solution, but to the best of our abilities we really are trying to lead the expertise in the industry because every county is so different, every state is so different. Even Tennessee, that certificate of authenticity, something changed with them just in the last I think about year where before you were able to just kind of keep uploading the same certificate of authenticity, but now they changed it so you have to have the accurate date listed.
So there's certain changes that happen at the county level where they evaluate, and it's important to partner with a company that is kind of staying abreast on all of those because things are always subject to change. That's one thing that this industry is consistent with is change.
Andy: Yes, it is. Yes, it is, and that that's a good point. I'll finish this slide with this regarding specifically the New York Acris system. For any of you in the audience that records through Acris, the nice thing with our system, with respect to the cover sheet, our system actually allows you to prepare and review the Acris cover sheet in our system before submitting it on to the jurisdiction to be recorded. My understanding is and it's been a while since I've heard this, but my understanding is if you go through Acris, you don't have that ability to review it. Our system does allow you to review that cover sheet through Acris before sending it on to the county. It's something that's very popular with our submitters that record in New York and explains why we have such a strong position in that part of the country.
Sarah: Great. All right. So in addition to the eRecording solution we offer, we do also offer a full-service paper recording option. This is an integrated solution within the ePrepare system, so that if you have an account with CSC for eRecording, you can also track and manage the paper application as well. And this is something that, goodness, we use it sometimes just as a full service if somebody does not want to have to manage the eRecording within their office, and our team will paper file the documents with counties that do not accept electronic recording, and they could even eRecord the documents on your behalf when they are able to be eRecorded.
This process is completely comprehensive. It is an innovative solution, and our team is adept at managing non-traditional project workflows and projects. eRecording Team, they do provide a concierge level of service. And it is a single and centralized application, more convenient, controlled, faster process, with tracking and status updates reported through ePrepare. And improve efficiencies, this is actually worth mentioning because we've only recently been able to consolidate our billing processes for eRecording and paper filing.
Andy: All right. Next, on this slide, we're going to key in on a few of our bigger county activations for 2022. Just a reminder, we're partnered with nearly 2,200 counties throughout the country. That encompasses nearly 80% of the U.S. population.
This year alone we've added Gwinnett County, Georgia. That's significant because that closes up the entire Atlanta market. We added Manatee County, Florida. Again, another significant milestone in that that closes up the Sarasota and Tampa Bay market. And then, of course, Orleans Parish is a significant add to our network here. And the other ones listed here are Mahoning, Ohio and Anderson, South Carolina.
Sarah: Enjoy the benefits of digital with eRecording. So just again, we talked a little bit about sort of high level how there is value to be found within eRecording for all levels and practices of attorneys. But at the baseline, there is convenience, there is speed, transparency, and of course communication. With eRecording, you're able to retain control of all the internal processes. Recording offices process first-come, first-served.
The documents are submitted in seconds, not hours or days. Documents returned electronically, typically same day. So you're not waiting on paper and mail that can potentially take weeks.
Submissions are date- and time-stamped. And you receive immediate notification of rejections with an ability to correct and resubmit those documents.
It is important to note that, of course, your security is important to us, and we do have additional security measures within the eRecording framework. So we do have data encryption, a detailed disaster recovery plan, secure data storage facility, and we are SOC 2 audited, secure, and web-based.
Now we're going to dive into a little bit of the additional features and enhancements within ePrepare. The county fee calculator estimate, so this is an enabled feature that complements the ePrepare system. It would allow you to input information about specific documents and the jurisdiction to retrieve an estimate of the recording fees prior to the submission. This is available for all document types. It is state and county specific. And you receive unlimited access to this feature with the subscription for it. And I will go ahead and demonstrate this feature a little bit later in the demo today.
Andy: Now within ePrepare, we have the ability to provide what are called custom email notifications. It's available in a standard feature, or like I said, we have the ability to customize the email. It seamlessly notifies your clients, staff, colleagues, and others once the documents have been recorded. It provides attachments of the recorded documents or instruments with the notifications. And it's available in either a PDF or TIFF environment.
And here's a sample of a custom email notification, where you can you can upload or provide your own company logo, your return to information, your contact information in the custom email. This is very useful primarily for third parties, right? So your clients, those that you're representing, you need to provide them with copies of the recorded documents once the packages have been recorded. Instead of waiting for the documents to come back to you and printing them out, mailing them or hand-delivering them to your clients, if you have their email address, they can be part of the notification cycle within ePrepare. You can add their email into the email notifications part, check off that you want a copy sent to your client, and that's it. Once the document has been recorded, they will receive an email notification along with either a PDF or a TIFF image attached to that email.
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