Electronic Mortgages Take a Step Forward with Guidance on Electronic Recording Law and Data Standards

February 14, 2006

Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) Releases Publication of the "Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (URPRA) Enactment and eRecording Standards Implementation Guide"

DURHAM, NC -- The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) announced immediate availability of the “Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (URPERA) Enactment and eRecording Standards Implementation Guide” providing background and policy analysis to state legislatures across the country on enacting the URPERA and detailed guidance to state and local commissions developing technological standards for electronic recording – a pivotal link to the creation of paperless, electronic mortgage transactions. 

“Electronic recording is experiencing unprecedented success with county recorders who have already deployed the technology,” said Mark Monacelli, President of PRIA and Recorder in St. Louis County, MN. “The information in this Guide will ensure its continued success because recorders’ systems will be able to ‘talk’ with lenders’ and title companies’ systems in an automated way, and process documents electronically based on uniform standards.” Currently, over 70 counties have deployed eRecording technology according to the PRIA.

The URPERA, drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL), advises the development of standards across all local recording jurisdictions be based on national eRecording standards maintained by the PRIA. The PRIA URPERA Guide provides details on how to use these standards in the development of local eRecording standards. The Guide also stresses the need for interoperability of recording systems with lenders’ and title companies’ systems, whose standards are based on national eMortgage standards created by the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO). Lastly, the Guide provides background and analysis to state legislators and their staffs on the uniform act, and the reasons for enacting the URPERA.

“Although the UETA (Uniform Electronic Transactions Act) provides county clerks and recorders with the authority to accept for filing electronic real property documents governed under state law, URPERA and the PRIA URPERA Guide will provide additional guidance with respect to how county clerks and recorders should proceed when doing so,” said Jerry Buckley, Partner with Buckley Kolar LLP in Washington, DC, and Counsel to the Electronic Financial Services Council and SPeRS (Standards and Procedures for electronic Records and Signatures). The PRIA URPERA Guide gives recorders a framework for moving forward in partnership with lenders and title companies. "This guide will be of enormous value to public officials throughout the nation who are thinking of bringing their real estate recording systems into the electronic age," said Dale Whitman, Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law and the American Bar Association’s Advisor to the NCCUSL URPERA Drafting Committee.

The PRIA Guide supports the uniform enactment of the URPERA in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The act has already been adopted by legislatures in the District of Columbia, Arizona, Delaware, North Carolina, and Texas. It is also being considered for adoption in California, Missouri, Virginia, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New Mexico. “The URPERA and the Implementation Guide provide a marriage of authority and implementation that should result in the successful migration to electronic recording in every state in the U.S. as soon as possible,” said John McCabe, Legislative Director of NCCUSL. “NCCUSL appreciates the support for URPERA and the very necessary work on standards for implementation of electronic recording,” Mr. McCabe continued.

Source: The Property Records Industry Association

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