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New Uniform Act allows electronic mortgage filing.

THE NEW UNIFORM REAL PROPERTY ELECtronic Recording Act (URPERA), which gives county clerks and recorders the legal authority to prepare for electronic recording of real property records, has been approved by the National Conference of Commissioners, Chicago. URPERA will create legislation authorizing land records officials to begin accepting and storing records in electronic form.

"The objective of the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recordation Act is cheaper and faster real estate sales," said John McCabe, NCCUSL's legislative director.

In the past few years, many local real estate recorders have developed a strong interest in converting their traditional paper-based land-recording systems to electronic form. Some individual recorders have set up digital systems, although often without much clear legal authority to do so. Most states have little or no legislation authorizing electronic recording, and the few statutes that do exist are mostly piecemeal, dealing with isolated issues rather than taking a comprehensive view of the necessary legal developments, according to NCCUSL.

Acts such as the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN) contain certain provisions that would clear the way for digital recording of real estate documents by local recorders' offices. Many state laws, however, still require recorded real estate documents to be submitted on paper or to be in writing, NCCUSL maintains. URPERA, in authorizing recording of real estate documents that are in electronic form, would supersede traditional paper-based statutory requirements. In addition, recorders may need other legal elements in order to carry out electronic recording. Those elements can include matters such as the authority to establish standard real estate document forms, authority to record by reference to such forms, authority to fix appropriate fees for electronic recording and to collect fees electronically.

The goal of URPERA is to create legislation authorizing land records officials to begin accepting records in electronic form, storing electronic records and setting up systems for searching for and receiving them. The intent is only to authorize such activities, not to mandate them. The act also establishes a state electronic recording commission. Under URPERA, a state agency is charged with adopting standards for the receipt, recordation and retrieval of electronic documents.
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Title Annotation:TechNewz
Publication:Mortgage Banking
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2004
Previous Article:HUD awards $750 million contract to EDS.
Next Article:U.S. Recordings and ACS form eRecord alliance.

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