Indexing Best Practices Emerge

Nationwide Title Clearing, Inc. (NTC), a service provider to the mortgage and financial industry, announced today that Myron Finley, the firm’s Chief Legal Officer and co-chair of the Business Processes and Procedures Committee for the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA), was instrumental in leading a group of industry volunteers to complete work on PRIA’s Indexing Best Practices paper. Finley, along with his committee co-chair Kathi Guay, CPO and Register at the Merrimack County Registry of Deeds in New Hampshire, led a breakout session on the paper at the PRIA Winter Symposium held recently in Arlington, Virginia. The PRIA board approved the paper at that event. Here’s the scoop:

“One of the biggest challenges facing this industry in the last decade has been the migration of business records generally from those recorded on paper to those recorded electronically,” said Finley. “This has caused a shift in legal requirements, technology, document processing standards and compliance practices that have truly transformed nearly every aspect of public land records systems. These new best practices address this challenge.”

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The Indexing Best Practices paper was the first project the Business Processes and Procedures Committee took on after Finley joined the effort in 2013. A paper on the subject had been written by Carl Ernst, one of the early and pivotal members of PRIA, and approved by PRIA’s Board of Directors in 2002. However, considering the many pervasive technological changes since then, it was determined in the early summer of 2013 that the paper was due for an update.

As a result of a many-month-long examination of the subject by numerous volunteers from the PRIA membership, under the direction of Finley and Guay, the revised paper was presented at the Winter Symposium where it was adopted by the Board.

“PRIA works at the cutting edge of our industry, giving us all the tools we need to work together more effectively,” Finley said. “One of PRIA’s most important characteristics is its commitment to foster this discussion, and to apply the skills and resources of both the government participants and the business participants to the many challenges that face those intimately involved with public land records. I’m proud that our firm participates.”

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Finley was joined at the Winter conference by Brian Ernissee, NTC’s Director of Document Completion, who oversees the eRecording team. Under Ernissee’s direction, NTC has increased its eRecording capability to nearly 70% of total volume and established benchmark compliance systems in the areas of document review, legal document authorization (for states that require it) and signing authority.

“Recording documents in the public record has become a national industry, rather than a local one,” Ernissee said. “Many companies are challenged by the need to comply with the varying indexing systems and their accompanying rules in more than 3,600 recording jurisdictions nationwide. The need to do so slows the entire system and increases the costs of recording documents. To the extent recorders can work within an indexing model that is used broadly, documents can be recorded more swiftly and with greater confidence, and at a lower cost.”

PRIA is an organization with a unique voice in the land records industry that develops and promotes national standards and best practices. It builds consensus among divergent groups within the industry of what best practices are, and publishes the results to foster consistency and cooperation. It provides a forum where government agencies and commercial enterprises can work together to solve problems that are common to us all.

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