As the world struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, PRIA offers helpful tips for coping and communicating.
PRIA has been working closely with the American Land Title Association to track the operating status of recording jurisdictions around the country. These resources can be viewed at www.alta.org/coronavirus. If you have updates to the information in the county report, please email details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To access additional resources specific to government leaders, click here. To stay informed about COVID-19, join the mailing list of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Health Security.
Recorders Are Essential to the US Economy (see article below – CISA Develops an “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce” Advisory List)
During these trying times, it is important to focus on the critical and essential function of the Recorder’s Office to power, sustain and restore the U.S. economic engine. Because of the current response to the COVID-19 outbreak, some recorders are closing their operations or reducing hours, staffing and/or services. These moves are understandable as recorders follow the advice of public officials and make the health and safety of employees and customers a priority.
The Recorder’s Office provides constructive notice of interest in real property. Even during difficult situations, the land title and mortgage finance industries depend heavily on the recorders’ documentation as essential functions for their businesses and for the consumer.
Recorders provide title professionals with the ability to search the public land records and, after a real estate closing is complete, to record the documents which establish the property rights of the new owner and the lien priority for the lender. This reliance on proof of land ownership drives the economy of our country.
As we face this health crisis, those of us in the property records industry are working together towards common goals of preserving the integrity of the land records and continuing to facilitate the important transfer of real estate across the country.
Communications in a Crisis
Communication during a crisis is an important component of an overall continuity plan. It can ease the anxiety and questions from those people who are accustomed to interacting with your office on a regular basis, whether they are business partners or consumers. Your messaging should be easily accessible, immediate, focused, thorough and continually updated.
Your communications should include:
• Status of your office operations
• Documents being processed
• Website capabilities
Inform the people who use your office – submitters, eRecording providers, attorneys, researchers, lenders, servicers:
• Via email
• Office voicemail messages
• Website updates
• Social Media (Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn)
• Notification on office doors
• Newspaper announcements
• Press releases
Samples of recorder websites with Coronavirus information pages:
Best Practices for Recording Queue Management in Times of Stress
You need to do what is best for your office and staff and the volume of documents you are receiving. Some of the following best practices may not be applicable to your office.
Remember! Recording simply provides notice that a document exists; you and your staff are not the document or notary police. Use that adage to your advantage in the time of backlog stress. A document with errors is not your fault; a corrected document can be recorded referencing the incorrect document.
State Reopening Plans
Title Professionals Respond to COVID-19
Transitioning Out of Lock Down
Beware of these Coronavirus Scams
County Risk Profile – Dashboard
Impact Planning for COVID-19 (by county)
Status of Recording Offices
List of recording jurisdictions and their open/close status
FNF Letter to FHFA
Essential role of the county recorder
PRIA’s Best Practices for Recording Queue Management
Title News Online