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Volume 83,  
January 2014



Property Records Education Partners (PREP) is PRIA's Local Arm


It's been almost 12 years since PRIA began the PREP committee and concept.  And now there are 30+ Chapters across the country, bringing together business and government partners who deal with all facets of the real property records industry.
Twelve years ago, PRIA could see that with thousands of businesses, and over 3600 government recording jurisdictions nationwide, there had to be a better way to reach everyone who needed to be involved in resolving issues and also in charting a future course.  So PRIA (Property Records Industry Association), ALTA (American Land Title Association), AEA (American Escrow Association), NACRC (National Association of Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks) and IACREOT (International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Elections Officials & Treasurers) joined forces initially to create a structure for PREP Chapters at the local level.  Chapter membership would be at no-cost to participants, but would require at least one PRIA member, and co-chairs from both Business and Government that would be willing to preside and organize meetings.  And over the years many states have started one or more Chapters. 

PRIA continues to support the PREP concept and provides staff time and resources to the Chapters, so they can continue to meet and resolve issues locally while still having access to PRIA's national perspective and resources. 

A PREP Blog, PREP LinkedIn Group, and this bi-weekly PREP newsletter also support the PRIA and PREP concept of mutual, consistent, and relevant communication.  In addition the PRIA webpage has a whole section about PREP with resources that discuss the very real benefits to participating in PREP and PRIA and all the materials you would need to start or maintain a PREP Chapter.  Please take a look at the site and the list of 2014 PREP Co-chairs and their planned meeting dates and feel free to contact any of them for their experience with PREP.

At the 2014 PRIA Winter Symposium (February 26-28, 2014) there will be a working session about "Starting a PREP Chapter" in your locale.  If you'll be there, please consider attending that session or talking to the PREP Coordinator, who will help you start a Chapter in your locale.




News from PREP Chapters


In every edition of the PREP Newsletter, we highlight a PREP Chapter and post an abbreviated version of their most recent Chapter Meeting minutes.  You can also see what any of the PREP Chapters are talking about by going to PRIA's PREP Chapters webpage.  

Upstate South Carolina PREP

Co-chairs: Government, Carrie Wilson, and Business, Mark Rettinger,


The Upstate South Carolina PREP Chapter met on November 6, 2013. The meeting centered around a presentation by John McCormack, General Manager for the Policy Section of the Office of General Counsel, Tax & Regulatory Services Division from the South Carolina Department of Revenue. He provided an overview of the exemptions associated with deed recording fees (transfer taxes) and the common issues associated with such transfers. Mr. McCormack provided insight into how transfer taxes were calculated and the SC Code Sections that described why certain deeds are exempt from transfer taxes. Many Register of Deeds Offices and numerous local attorneys attended the seminar providing a very successful roundtable.  The next meeting of this Chapter will be in April 2014. (Please see PRIA's PREP page for complete minutes.)



CSC Becomes Approved eRecording Vendor for Several Recording Jurisdictions Nationwide
In the last few weeks, Corporation Service Company� (CSC�) has become an approved eRecording vendor for the Adams County, WI Register of Deeds office, the St. Lawrence County, NY Clerk's office, the Barnstable County, MA Register of Deeds office, the Catron County, NM Clerk's office, the El Dorado County, CA Clerk and Recorder's office and for the Town of Westport, CT Clerk's office.

See PRIA's Press Release webpage to see detailed press releases.



There is Still Time to Register for PRIA's 2014 Winter Symposium (February 26 - 28)
This year's Winter Symposium will feature more hot topics for recorders and the business sector.  There will be general sessions interspersed with work group sessions and small group discussions offering opportunities to continue developing relationships with all attendees.


On Thursday morning, February 27, Kenneth W. Gronbach, expert in demographics and generational marketing, will present two sessions which will look at the future for the country and, specifically, the real estate industry, from both a global and local perspective.


And working groups will begin to define the next wave of best practices for the industry during concurrent breakout sessions.   


Registration materials are available in both PDF and online options on the PRIA website.  Hotel reservations can be made online or by calling 800.228.9290 (Marriott Centralized Reservations) or 703.413.5500 (direct to the hotel). The PRIA group rate of $209 single/double is only available through Friday, February 7, 2014, so go online or call today to secure your room.


Indecomm Joins Los Angeles County in Advancing eRecording

Indecomm Global Services, a leader in business process outsourcing, learning, and technology solutions, announces that it is now engaged in eRecording with Los Angeles County, the largest county in the United States with nearly 10 million inhabitants. This affiliation enables lenders and title agents to use Indecomm's Trusted Submitter status to eRecord their Real Estate documents.


"It is with pride that Indecomm joins forces with Los Angeles County," said Rajan Nair, President, Financial Services Division, Indecomm Global Services. "The County's size and our expertise provide a good union, which benefit mortgage professionals and the home buyers in Los Angeles. In the future, it will offer even more benefits as eRecording disseminates among

industry professionals."   (Read PRIA's Press Release page for complete article.)  

"There and Back Again - A Document's Tale" (PRIA Webinar on 2/6/14)

3 p.m., ET, Thursday, February 6, 2014 

Registration:  Complimentary for PRIA Members; $25 all others  


PRIA invites you to participate in this month's webinar: There and Back Again - A Document's Tale, presented by Chris Walker, County Clerk, Jackson County, OR, and Mark Ladd, Director of Channel Sales, Simplifile.  


This webinar will focus on the following key points:     

  • What happens to a document when it's electronically recorded?
  • An overview of the document life cycle in the eRecording process.
  • What parties are involved in the transaction?
  • What are the laws that govern electronic transactions?
  • Can paper be electronically recorded?

To register for this webinar, click hereRegistrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until all seats are filled.  

Register Today! 


There and Back Again - A Document's Tale


 3 p.m., ET, Thursday, February 6, 2014

Complimentary for PRIA Members; $25 for non-members



ALTA NEWS:  CFPB Seeks Info to Improve Closing Experience  


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a notice and request for information on ways to improve the closing process.

The CFPB wants to hear from professionals such as settlement and closing agents, and attorneys, who work with consumers during the closing process. The CFPB indicated the anecdotes and information that is provided will be used to research and test solutions that address some of the biggest pain points associated with closing on a mortgage.

"The CFPB seeks to encourage the development of a more streamlined, efficient, and educational closing process as the mortgage industry increases its usage of technology, electronic signatures, and paperless processes," the Bureau reported in its notice and request for information.

The CFPB is seeking answers to 17 questions broken into five categories.

Consumers and Closing


  1. What are common problems or issues consumers face at closing? What parts of the closing process do consumers find confusing or overwhelming?
  2. Are there specific parts of the closing process that borrowers find particularly helpful?
  3. What do consumers remember about closing as related to the overall mortgage/home-buying process? What do consumers remember about closing?
  4. How long does the closing process usually take? Do borrowers feel that the time at the closing table was an appropriate amount of time? Is it too long? Too short? Just right?
  5. How empowered do consumers seem to feel at closing? Did they come to closing with questions? Did they review the forms beforehand? Did they know that they can request their documents in advance? Did they negotiate?
  6. What, if anything, have you found helps consumers understand the terms of the loan?

Errors and Changes at Closing

  1. What are some common errors you have seen at closing? How are these errors detected, if at all? Tell us about errors that were detected after closing.
  2. What changes, diverging from what was originally presented at closing, often surprise consumers at closing? How do consumers react to changes at closing?

Other Parties at Closing

  1. How, if at all, do consumers typically seek advice during closing? In person? By phone? Online?
  2. Where and to whom do consumers turn for advice during closing? Whom do they typically trust?

Closing Documents

  1. What documents do borrowers usually remember seeing? What documents they remember signing?
  2. What documents do consumers find particularly confusing?
  3. What resources do borrowers use to define unfamiliar terms of the loan?

Improving Closing

  1. What, if anything, would you change about the closing process to make it a better experience for consumers?
  2. What questions should consumers ask at closing? What are the most important pieces of information/documents for them to review?
  3. What is the single most important question a consumer should ask at closing?
  4. What is the single most important thing a consumer should do before coming to the closing table?
Deadline to comment is Feb. 7.  ALTA plans to file comments based off guidance from its RESPA Task Force and Government Affairs Committee. The Title Action Network will ask members to comment as well.

According to Michelle Korsmo, ALTA's chief executive officer, this project is important to CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

"In my meetings with the director, we talked extensively about his desire to simplify and improve real estate closings for consumers," she said.

Frank Pellegrini, ALTA's immediate past president, had a conversation with Cordray last April about issues that frustrate consumers during the closing process and how closing officers and settlement agents work to make the experience better.

"This is a great opportunity for the settlement agent community to share its expertise and knowledge with policymakers," Korsmo said. "While ALTA is preparing a response, we urge title professionals to provide their own comments."

Comments can be made at

Responses also can be delivered to the CFPB at: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.

If you have questions, contact Steve Gottheim, ALTA's legislative and regulatory counsel, at or 202-261-2943.


Links to National News


Economists Outline What to Watch for in the Real Estate Market of 2014 

DS News | January 23, 2014

Experts at Freddie Mac and Equifax expect falling unemployment and economic growth to keep the housing market steady in 2014. This, despite climbing interest rates and anticipated growth in housing prices nationwide.


Top 10 Real Estate Market Surprises 

Realty Biz News | January 24, 2014

As the housing market continues defining the new normal in 2014, there are surprises when you look beyond the coastal cities of California and the ongoing foreclosure problems in Florida.


5 Things You Need to Know About Home Prices
The Wall Street Journal | January 28, 2014
The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index showed that home prices have been on a tear during 2013, driven by more buyers chasing a shrinking supply of homes for sale -- and critically, chasing fewer distressed properties.

Obama Speech Calls for U.S. Housing System Overhaul
Reuters | January 28, 2014
President Barack Obama renewed his call on Tuesday to wind down mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and revamp the housing finance system to include a more limited government backstop.

Join the PREP Blog and the PREP LinkedIn Group


On most business days, we post national news articles, and PRIA and PREP Chapter information on the PREP Blog and the PRIA/PREP LinkedIn Group. You are able to stay in touch by subscribing to both sites and automatically receiving updates daily or weekly.



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Consider advertising in the two PRIA publications, In Touch and PREP's "Working Together" Newsletter. In Touch is produced and distributed 12 times each year, while PREPs "Working Together" is distributed 24 times a year.  It's a lot of exposure with a wide audience, up to 12,000 readers, for just a few dollars. To claim your space click here.

The views and opinions expressed in the media, articles, comments, or links in this publication are those of the speakers or authors and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) or its members.  PRIA does not warrant the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information contained in this publication. If you have a complaint about something you have found in this publication, please contact PRIA by email at
This publication may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. PRIA believes this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this publication is distributed without profit, to those who have expressed a prior interest in such information, for comment and nonprofit educational purposes.
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In This Issue
PREP is PRIA's Local Arm
News from PREP Chapters - Upstate SC
CSC Becomes Approved eRecording Vendor for Several Recording Jurisdictions Nationwide
PRIA's 2014 Winter Symposium
Indecomm Joins LA County in Advancing eRecording
PRIA Webinar February 6
Links to National News
PREP Blog and PREP LinkedIn
Advertise in PRIA's Newsletters
Examples of PRIA's Products 
PREP Chapter Meetings
    February - April 2014  


      Central Florida 

      Central Texas


      Metro Minnesota 

      Washington State

      No Central Texas


      SE Minnesota

      Upstate South Carolina    


Contact Information

Do you have questions or suggestions for this newsletter or any updated information on co-chairs, emails, phone numbers, etc. please contact us:
Carolyn Ableman
PREP Coordinator

Mark Monacelli
PREP Committee Government Co-Chair, Recorder
St Louis County, Minnesota

Madeleine Nagy

PREP Committee Business

Co-Chair, ALTA

State Government Affairs


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