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Volume 80,  
mid-December 2013



City Of Los Angeles Slaps Banks With Mortgage Discrimination Suits 

excerpted from 12/9/13 


The city of Los Angeles has reportedly filed separate lawsuits against Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, accusing the banks of engaging in discriminatory mortgage lending practices.

In the complaints filed in early December in federal court, the city seeks damages for reduced property tax revenue and the costs of maintaining foreclosed properties, according to a Bloomberg News report.

The suits accuse the banks of engaging in discriminatory lending to minority borrowers since at least 2004, according to the report. Each alleges that the bank intentionally matched mortgages to minority borrowers that they couldn't afford. This, in turn, resulted in a high number of foreclosures in minority neighborhoods, which in turn, resulted in a wave of foreclosures and a subsequent decline in property values and tax revenues. (Read complete article.) 




News from PREP Chapters


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

SE Pennsylvania PREP

Co-chairs: Government, Nancy Becker at and Business, Dallys Novarina at  


The PA Southeast Regional Property Records Education Partners (PREP) and the South Central Chapter of PLTA met with more than 50 individuals on November 19, 2013. The primary topic for this meeting was a panel of county recorders including: Randi L. Reisinger, York County Recorder, Becky Bloomer, First Deputy Recorder Berks County, James M. Zugay, Esq., Dauphin County Recorder.  "So You Thought You Knew How to Record" was the topic for the panel discussion.


The panel discussion began with each recorder talking about the most common reasons why documents were being rejected.  It was noted that many documents are rejected because names, signatures and acknowledgments do not match throughout the document.  This seemed to be the number one reason why rejections occur. Many of the documents rejected are from out of state. Many recording offices offer the submitters the option to call before recording to make sure documents are recordable.
Montgomery County's top reasons for rejections were:  incorrect parcel number, wrong book and page numbers, and signatures not matching acknowledgments.  Questions from the moderators included:  When is a document officially considered to be recorded?  (Recorders agreed when a book and page is assigned, the document is considered recorded.)  How often do the recorders update their websites?  (The majority of the panel said they are updating whenever they have changes.) 


Mr. Frank DiMaio, Senior Vice President of GMH Mortgage Services LLC discussed a program for veterans that could provide them with a discount  on settlement costs as much as $1,500.  Nancy Becker gave a brief update on the eRecorder Commission that recently met at the State College PRODA Regional Fall Meeting. John Ridell, from Simplifile, spoke about eRecording around the state.  At this time, there are 27 PA counties that are eRecording.   The next SE Pennsylvania PREP meeting will be held on February 12, 2014. (Read the complete meeting minutes on the PRIA website.)


eRecording Q & A - a PRIA sponsored Webinar
PRIA invites you to participate in an eRecording Q & A session with a panel including a new eRecording county, an experienced eRecording county, a submitter, and a vendor. The panel will feature Jerry Lewallen, eRecording Partners, Scott Moore, Fidlar Technologies, Kathy Haiker, Ottowa County, MI, and Jerry Czaja, Kent County, MI.       


Questions to be addressed will Include:  

  • What role does the land records vendor play?
  • What document types should I accept?
  • How does payment work?
  • What role do the eRecording vendors play?
  • What changes do I need to consider within my office? 

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

Register Today! 


eRecording Q & A 

 3 p.m., ET, Thursday, January 9, 2014

Complimentary for PRIA Members; $25 for non-members




Polk County, FL Clerk of Court's Office Expands Document Recording Capabilities With Help From CSC

Corporation Service Company� (CSC�) is now an approved eRecording vendor for the Polk County, FL Clerk of Court's office. CSC's eRecording division pioneered electronic document recording in the U.S. and was recognized for its innovations by the 2012 Mortgage Technology Awards.


Polk County's partnership with CSC will allow estate document submitters to electronically record documents quickly, easily, and securely. Any submitter with a computer, Internet connection and scanner/printer can now eRecord with Polk County.  

Pioneer Technology Group Announces Signed Agreement for Landmark Official Records System in Merrimack County, NH
excerpted from the PR Web 12/4/13 

The proper recording of land records is critical; practically all property rights and ownership depends on the accuracy of these records and the process by which they are recorded. County Clerks, Recorders and Registers of Deeds are highly trained professionals dedicated to the highest standards of performance.


Outdated systems in County offices can result in inefficiencies and recording delays, creating "gaps" in the recording dates and delaying access to information for real estate professionals and the public. These delays have significant implications for property ownership and also create opportunities for fraud schemes that take advantage of these gaps in the recording process.


Now, new recording technology is allowing register of deeds offices to streamline this process, ensuring timely recording and providing better access to documents for the real estate industry and the public. When the time came for the Merrimack County, NH Registry of Deeds office to upgrade their recording technology, the County selected the Landmark system from Pioneer Technology Group (PTG). 


"We are very excited about the Landmark system" said Kathi Guay, Merrimack County Register of Deeds. "After having looked at numerous demos of recording vendors available, the Landmark system was by far the most comprehensive and user friendly version on the market. The look and feel of the process and the ability to offer additional services to our constituents with minimal training required for our professional users, but especially for our casual users, made this the top choice for increasing our efficiency and also offering a robust and expanded search capability." (Read complete article.)


Don't Forget to Register for the PRIA 2014 Winter Symposium
The 2014 PRIA Winter Symposium - "Setting Standards for Success" - will be held February 26-28 at the Marriott Crystal City in Arlington, Va.  Just a short 2-mile taxi ride from Ronald Reagan Airport, the hotel is convenient to  restaurants and shopping.  The online reservation portal is available on the website along with the preliminary schedule.  Room rate is $209/single or double accommodations.    


ALTA NEWS:  ALTA Releases Workbook for Each Pillar of Best Practices


ALTA has completed the rollout of Best Practices Assessment Preparation Workbooks that members can use to examine adoption of ALTA's "Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices" and measure if a company is prepared to undergo an assessment.


ALTA has provided a Workbook for each pillar of the Best Practices. The final Workbook released is for pillar No. 3, which addresses protecting non-public personal information. ALTA also will publish a policy-building tool to help members develop their own written procedures.


The Workbooks consist of various tabs that include a cover page, an introduction letter, instructions, questionnaire, worksheet(s) and an action item report. In addition, the Workbook for pillar No. 3 includes an information security glossary, which provides a definition for many technology related terms. The Workbook questionnaire tab includes a series of questions asking about a company's business practices. Questions are broken out by each Best Practices pillar and designed to match up with the requirements of the Best Practices and the Assessment Procedures.


The questionnaire in the Workbook for the third pillar is broken into eight sections and includes 157 questions. Each question should be answered with either a "yes" or "no." Some questions may require an explanation. In addition, the Workbook asks to indicate whether the practice is documented in a company's written procedures and whether the company has a system for determining if employees follow the procedures. For more information and to access the Workbooks, go to


Links to National News


Mortgage Applications Increase For The First Time In 6 Weeks
Bloomberg | December 11, 2013
The Mortgage Bankers Association's index climbed 1 percent in the period ended Dec. 6 after plunging 12.8 percent. The refinance measure rose 2.1 percent last week, while the purchase gauge advanced 0.9 percent.

HUD Publishes Its Final Definition of a Qualified Mortgage
HousingWire | December 11, 2013
From a very broad perspective, the HUD QM definition says loans in the system must require periodic payments without risky features. In addition, they cannot have terms exceeding 30 years, must be insured by FHA or HUD and have to limit upfront points and fees to no more than 3% with some exceptions for certain types of loans.

Analyst Says Watt at FHFA Could Revive 40-year Mortgages
MarketWatch | December 11, 2013
With Mel Watt at the head of a federal housing-finance regulator, it may be easier for borrowers to get cheaper mortgages and the recently flagging housing-market recovery could get a boost.
FHA Updates Underwriting Guidelines for Evaluating Borrower Risk
DS News | December 11, 2013
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) published new guidelines for lenders to use when manually underwriting loan applications for borrowers applying for FHA-insured mortgages.

Join the PREP Blog and the PREP LinkedIn Group


Almost every day, 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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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
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In This Issue
City of Los Angeles Slaps Banks with Mortgage Discrimination Suits
News from PREP Chapters - SE Pennsylvania
eRecording Q&A Webinar
Polk County, FL Expands eRecording Capabilities with CSC
PTG Signs Agreement with Merrimack County, NH
Register for the PRIA 2014 Winter Symposium
Links to National News
PREP Blog and PREP LinkedIn
Advertise in PRIA's Newsletters
Examples of PRIA's Products 
PREP Chapter Meetings
December 2013 -  March 2014  


      Metro Minnesota 

      Washington State

      New York

      North Central Texas


      SE Minnesota   


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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