Online filing to streamline wave of documents at recorder’s office

Montgomery County Recorder Brandon McClain demonstrates a fraud alert system that notifies enrolled property owners if changes are made to certain property records. This week the office rolled out a new system to accept documents filed online. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
Montgomery County Recorder Brandon McClain demonstrates a fraud alert system that notifies enrolled property owners if changes are made to certain property records. This week the office rolled out a new system to accept documents filed online. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

A new electronic filing system went online this week at the Montgomery County Recorder’s Office to streamline the filing of documents which have increased 30% due to a housing market that remained robust despite a coronavirus pandemic.

Montgomery County has about 260,000 parcels of property and each time an owner takes out a mortgage, refinances one or pays it off, a new document is recorded. When a mortgage changes hands between lenders, a document called an assignment is also recorded at the office.

“They will be able to access our electronic recording feature and do them from anywhere while maintaining the original,” said Brandon McClain, Montgomery County’s recorder. “From a safety perspective, that is going to reduce people having to actually come down in person to deliver these documents, which is going to limit their exposure to potential risk of COVID-19.”

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By the end of July this year, 76,946 mortgages, releases and assignments were recorded, up from 58,834 during the same period in 2019. The office recorded 111,772 documents during all of last year, according to the recorder’s office.

McClain expects banks, credit unions, other mortgage companies and title agents will sign on quickly as the housing market remains strong.

“With this new program, I expect the numbers to continue to climb,” he said.

McClain said the new system will increase the efficiency of the office and save companies costs for postage and for runners they hire to deliver documents to the office at the Montgomery County Administration Building in downtown Dayton.

While the online system can be accessed from anywhere, it will accept documents only during normal office hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., according to the recorder’s office.

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Most of the functionality for the new system was already built into the county’s current filing and search system but required some reprogramming. The county paid the vendor, Cott Systems Inc., $9,900 for the customization, according to the recorder’s office.

McClain said the new technology is not leading to an increase in recording fees. A fee increase in October from $28 to $34 for the first two pages was state-ordered, McClain said.

People can begin filing documents electronically at simplifile.com or by calling Simplifile at 1-800-460-5657 or 1-801-223-1031.

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