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Recording Fundamentals—Tools for Every Market

Understanding how the last few years have changed the way real estate transactions are managed is important to prevent delays in today’s market.

Learn more  and read the transcript

Join us for a discussion of recording fundamentals you need to know as well as a comprehensive look at CSC's real estate 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 real estate services and a demonstration of enhanced tools such as our fee calculator.

Webinar transcript

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 Fundamentals –Tools For Every Market." 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 onboards submitters through 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 the Wilmington, Delaware headquarters. 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.

Sarah: Caitlin, thank you so much for that warm welcome and, of course, thank you to all of you in attendance today. Before we dive into today's content, just a little bit of information about CSC as a whole. We like to say we are the business behind business. We are a business, legal, and financial services company, and we provide knowledge-based solutions to clients worldwide. We provide solutions for every phase of the business life cycle, helping to form entities, maintain compliance, execute secured transaction work, and support real estate.

In addition to our real estate clients, we also support 10,000 plus law firms very prominent in the U.S. We provide solutions to 3,000 financial market customers. We are headquartered in Delaware, but we have office locations worldwide. We serve 100,000 corporate customers. We provide (sic) more than 65% of the 100 Best Global Brands, including 7 of the top 10, and we serve 90% of the Fortune 500 companies.

While in today's webinar we will be speaking specifically about our eRecording solutions, it's worth noting that CSC offers a myriad of different solutions to our clients, and it's not unusual that a client of ours might be utilizing us for multiple services. So again, in addition to our real estate recording services, we do also offer UCC search and filing, digital brand services, entity management and compliance, corporate tax software, corporate filings and documents. We service global financial markets through some different products, registered agent services, and enterprise legal management.

On today's webinar, Andy and I are going to be diving into some market trends and insights that obviously impact all of us who are in any facility of recording and real estate. We're also going to talk specifically about eRecording with CSC, a little bit about our service model, not just eRecording, some of the enhancements within our platform, also a little bit of information about our full-service paper fulfillment team. We're going to connect about some notable county activations, ways in which we have expanded our presence nationwide. As previously mentioned by Caitlin, we will be opening it up for some Q&A and a product demonstration as well.

And with that, I am going to turn it over to my friend and colleague, Andy Singleton, who's going to speak to you a bit about some of the changes impacting the industry.

Andy: Thank you, Sarah, and I want to thank everyone in the audience for joining us today to discuss a number of things in our webinar. What I'd like to discuss now are changes that have impacted our industry over the past 12 months.

Right off the bat the big elephant in the room, if you will, is the mortgage lending side of things. The first half of 2021 versus the first half of this year 2022, total mortgage originations are down 42.6%, which includes purchase originations at 2.8% dip. And really what's driving that is the refi market. We've seen a decrease down to 66%. Really the refi market is all but dried up because of the mortgage interest rates of course. The average loan amount has increased year-over-year to roughly 14.3%. The average new home purchase loan amount is 3.9%. Then, of course, the average refi loan amount is nearly 20%, at 19.8%.

Our Q3 forecast for this year really is the 30-year fixed mortgage rate, currently at 5.3%, nearly double what it was at this point last year at 2.9%.

Home sales have dipped to 7.4%, with new construction and new homes dipping to 13.6%. So this is really driving our market with respect to mortgages and related transactions.

One thing I'd like to highlight and discuss really briefly, another change that has impacted our industry is the SECURE Act that was passed by the House last month, in August. The SECURE Act, Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote Electronic Notarization Act, this was probably something that was maybe five years or so out. The pandemic has really pushed this to the forefront and expedited this, and we expect this to really affect our industry quite a bit moving forward.

How about you, Sarah? Are you hearing a lot about that with respect to what we do in the eRecording world?

Sarah: Well, you know, not so much in the sense of what we do in the eRecording world. The buzz that we're hearing is more sort of on kind of like the national groups, like the land title groups that obviously back and support this. And it's important to keep in mind for everybody that what this really would do is kind of create national minimum standards that would impact nationwide, but at the same time they don't preempt any state level laws.

So I think it's interesting. I think it's exciting. Do I think that this is going to be some sort of overnight game changer as far as the way that we all work operationally? Not yet, but definitely something to watch.

Andy: Yeah, I agree. Another topic that I just want to touch on real quick, real briefly another I wouldn't say it's necessarily a change that's impacting the industry, but it could, is mergers and acquisitions. For those of you in the banking space, in the financial space, we're seeing a little bit of an uptick in banks acquiring other banks and merging with other banks and things like that. It's going to be exciting to see how that could potentially affect our industry moving forward.

On this slide, I'd like to discuss the many benefits of eRecording with CSC. There's a host of benefits, a wide, wide range of benefits, and here I'd like to highlight several that are most key to the benefits of eRecording with us.

Probably the biggest thing is the security aspect of the documents. With eRecording, you retain control of the internal process, meaning that the original document stays in your possession at all times. Ultimately, a PDF of the original is being delivered to the county for execution, and the PDF recorded document is being returned back to you through our system so that the original document is in your possession the entire time.

The recording offices process on a first-come, first-served basis. Documents are submitted in seconds, not hours or days. So when you eRecord a document, that document is landing in that county's queue instantly. Within a matter of seconds, it's landing in that queue, and if there's no other documents pending, then the clerk is going to be able to process that document immediately and get it recorded or rejected and get it sent back to you right away.

There again, going into the next one, documents are returned electronically, same day. In many cases, a lot of the counties are same-day recordation. If you send a document say the first thing in the morning, in all likelihood by the afternoon that document is going to be reviewed, recorded, and returned to you, unlike submitting paper documents where it may take days if not weeks for that matter.

Submissions are date and time-stamped. So from an audit standpoint, if you have to report to your underwriters audits and things like that, this is very important. Everything is date and time-stamped within our platform from the moment that a document is created all the way to the backend once it's been recorded and returned to you. There's a date and time-stamp happening for every level of the transaction.

And then, lastly, immediate notifications of rejections, with the ability to correct and resubmit. So when your document is reviewed, if there's an error, a clerical error or whatever it may be, the county is going to notate that rejection reason accordingly and it'll be returned back to you instantly for you to review and then correct and ultimately resubmit.

All right. Moving on, why CSC for eRecording services? It's pretty simple. CSC is the world's 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, enabling easier document creation and faster recordation. Also CSC was first to market with an eRecording solution, and our services remain the benchmark for speed, efficiency, and security.

All right. This slide I'm going to briefly touch on our security measures, CSC eRecording security measures, which include data encryption, disaster recovery, an acronym for that BCDR, business continuity and disaster recovery. We have secure data storage facilities. And naturally we're SOC 2 compliant. So we're SOC 2 audited, secure, and web-based.

And I think Sarah would agree, that having gone through a number of due diligence and procurement processes over the years, that all of this is very important.

Sarah: Absolutely.

Andy: This slide we're going to discuss our integrations. So we're partnered with a number of title softwares throughout the industry, including Softpro, RamQuest, Resware, for those of you in the Northeast TrackerPRO, Accu-Title, NetDirector, SnapClose, GreenFolders, ClosersChoice, and Landtech.

We actually have an integration specialist on our team that acts as more of a liaison between our integration partners and our support and sales teams. So we have a dedicated individual that works with our submitters on these integrations.

And in addition to these title software integrations, we also have the ability and functionality to do custom integrations as well. That really comes in handy for a lot of our banking partners and our financial partners, where they want to be able to put integrations in place for the data and for the documents and things like that. And we have that capability and that functionality to do so.

Sarah: All right. Let's talk a little bit about our service model because obviously, when we're talking about eRecording and we're talking about the process of submitting those documents electronically, from vendors to vendors, there might be some similarities, but what's really going to stand out with CSC is our service model.

We talk a little bit every year about NPS scores. These are Net Promoter Scores, and they are ranked from a negative 100 to a positive 100, and kind of valued, the highest level being world-class. Year after year, CSC is recognized as a world-class service vendor by way of our NPS scores.

In addition to that, I always like to brag about our Support Team here. The support for eRecording service is built right into the eRecording platform through live chat, email, phone number, all of that. But it's important to note that this is an in-house support team. This is not an outsourced support team. This is a group of highly skilled, trained and dedicated account professionals that Andy and I work with closely every single day. So I always tell my clients reach out to our Support Team with absolute confidence.

In addition to that, we are the only vendor that has a dedicated account manager. That often facilitates with the account setup, of course training, but also questions throughout. If you ever needed to reach out to somebody, you'd always be able to connect directly with your account manager.

With CSC, you have unlimited training and support, and that support is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard time so that we can accommodate all of our clients coast to coast.

We also have a dedicated County Engineer Team, and this team acts really essentially like a liaison, right, with our submitters and our county partners. So it's really nice that you have a group within CSC that has a pulse on all things county related in case anything needs to be updated, clarified, or corrected.

So perhaps not everyone on the call is aware of this, but in addition to our eRecording platform, we also offer a full-service paper fulfillment option. The great thing about this is that all of the tracking and information is completely integrated within the ePrepare system. So even if you did have let's say, for example, a manual filing that CSC was managing for you, you can still check status and track and even create let's say support tickets on paper recording that has been handled by our Tallahassee project.

A little bit about our team in Tallahassee. This is a comprehensive solution. It encompasses both paper and eRecording services. It's available in more than 3,600 recording jurisdictions nationwide, and all of it, as I mentioned, managed through CSC ePrepare. CSC's Paper Recording Team is really adept at managing non-traditional project workflows, and that would be in addition to let's say ongoing recording needs that you might have.

And Andy, I might even have you weigh in because I think more than anybody else here on the eRecording Team you've really assisted with some of these custom paper projects with a lot of our top lenders.

Andy: I have, Sarah. Especially over the past couple years during the pandemic, I worked with quite a few of our banking and lending partners who had backlogs of documents that they, for a variety reasons, whether it be manpower, internal manpower, they were no longer working in the office, they were working from home, and we had to help them navigate through as we all did had to navigate through the pandemic. And I assisted on quite a few of our submitters in kind of that non-traditional processes and projects and helped get them through their backlog of documents that they had. So absolutely.

Sarah: And I think we can even expect to see a bit more of that. I mean, feeding off of a little bit of the information we talked about and again some of this is just a bit of speculation with mergers and acquisitions, but oftentimes I have clients of mine who have acquired another bank and in doing so they've acquired their backlog of projects. So in order for them to stay current on their paid-in-fulls that they have closed upon, they might engage with CSC to handle a custom project even for just a short amount of time. So definitely worth noting that that's something that we are adept at handling at this point.

The service model, we kind of already talked about that on the eRecording side, but the concierge level of service that you'll receive is exactly the same with the paper team. You will have a single and centralized point of contact throughout the entire process.

The application itself, convenient, controlled, faster process, with tracking and status updated again through ePrepare.

And again, improved efficiencies. I don't think we talk about this enough because sometimes it's not just simply about the eRecording, the recording of the document, but also some backend processes. So consolidated billing for both paper and eRecording.

Andy: And in this slide, I want to discuss our suite of services in our real estate space, our comprehensive digital solutions, which includes our property search services. In Colorado, we have a deed of trust look-up. We also have document templates both on the commercial and residential side. We have custom email notifications. We have a new Signer Manager tool within our ePrepare platform. For those of you recording releases and satisfactions, we have a Borrower Notification Letter service. We also offer eTrustee services. And lastly, our soon-to-launch fee calculator, which during Sarah's presentation you'll get a preview of.

And then, on this slide, I'm going to discuss our property search services. You can search properties through a number of ways, and you'll receive various pieces of data back on your searches, including parcel identification number, assessor's maps. You can verify ownership. You can get a legal description of a property. And you can have the property data images available to you, both the last financial document and the last transfer document. And then historical data.

Now all of you can understand this part where information can vary from county to county, state to state as far as availability, what they allow us to pull from their own databases. And with that, we have an Availability tool within our property search feature that will provide you with what is available on a state-by-state and county-to-county level in terms of the types of documents or searches that are available and the type of images, if images are available, what types are available to our platform.

All right, folks. What you see here is a sample of a custom email that we have available within ePrepare. Now we have a generic standard email notification that can be triggered within ePrepare and ultimately generated. And once a document is recorded, that email notification will be sent to your submitter along with attachment of the recorded instrument.

But we also have this custom email process available to you as well. And what you would provide us is basically your company logo, your contact information, and your email signature. And the presentation of the custom email would be as if it's coming from you to your submitters or to your clients rather.

So it's a nice feature. It takes the process . . . You don't have to worry about when the document gets recorded, making a copy of it and mailing it to your clients or providing them with copies. If you have their email address, you can simply make them available in the notification cycle right through ePrepare, and an email notification will be sent to your clients and you don't to have worry about it anymore.

Next is a sample of our borrower notification letter or BNL. This is for those that record or process releases and satisfactions or reconveyances of mortgages. We have a process within ePrepare that'll inform your borrower when their loan has been paid and satisfied. And how we accomplish this, you provide us with the language of the letter and your contact information, your return information, and when you go to prepare a release or satisfaction in our platform, when BNLs are enabled, you'll simply input the borrower name and physical address, and we take it from there.

Our team in Tallahassee, one of many things that they do is the BNL process, where once a document has been recorded, they'll prepare the BNL for you, send that out along with the recorded instrument to that borrower, to the address provided, and with you as the submitter being displayed as the return address. So there again, it takes the process out of your hand. One less thing that you have to worry about. Let us do that for you. We'll inform your borrowers when their loans have been satisfied.

Sarah: So as we're talking about sort of notable market trends and information about CSC, it's also worth noting that there have been some major county activations so far. We are currently in over 2,100 counties, and our coverage represents 90% of the U.S. population.

Some notable acquisitions for our eRecording network have been Gwinnett County in Georgia with a population of over 928,000, Manatee, Florida with a population of over 400,000, Orleans Parish in Louisiana, population over 369,000, Mahoning, Ohio 235,000, and Anderson, South Carolina at 189,000.

Andy, of those, anything kind of stand out to you?

Andy: Yeah, the top three, Gwinnett County in Georgia, that closes up the Atlanta market, right? That is the last county that kind of encapsulates Atlanta, the Greater Atlanta area. So we're seeing a major push in the whole state of Georgia for eRecording, but this closes up that Atlanta region.

Manatee County, one of the hottest, if you will, areas in our industry is Florida and on the Gulf side specifically. So Manatee County closes up that Sarasota/Fort Meyers region. All the counties now are eRecording in that region.

And, of course, Orleans Parish, it closes up pretty much all of the Greater New Orleans area as well. So all those parishes in and around Orleans Parish are now eRecording, in and around New Orleans for that matter.

Sarah: Fantastic. And it kind of says there in tiny print "and many more." I think it's worth noting that this year alone we have already activated over 150 new counties at this point. So just as you have account managers, like Andy and myself, who work specifically with our submitters, we have a team that works directly with the county clerk's office to engage them and bring them into the eRecording operation with CSC.

Often I've got clients of mine who say, "I love eRecording. It makes everything so convenient, but there's this one county and they don't eRecord." And we will utilize that information to try to drive a conversation with certain clerks. And I think it's also really important to understand that you all as submitters, you all as potential constituents within a certain county, you have a lot of influence. So certainly if you want to engage with the county clerk's office and say, "Listen, I eRecord with CSC. I really would love it if I could eRecord documents in this county as well." We can definitely connect you with a point of contact to facilitate those conversations.

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