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Volume 77,  
October 2013



Housing's Trends Signal a Bright Future 

excerpted from Forbes 10/27/13 


It seems that whenever something happens in the housing market, a flock of articles pop up explaining why the signs are ominous and housing is destined to flounder. The oddest one has to do with existing home sales this year. Prices have risen, and the inventory of homes for sale has fallen. This happy concurrence has been met with tsk-tsking that both changes will harm the recovery. The rationale is that the shrinking inventory is causing the house price rise, making homes less affordable and undercutting the buying needed to sustain the recovery. However, these shifts are actually welcome signs - proof that housing is finally shaking off both the Great Recession and the excesses of the preceding housing bubble.  


The decrease in existing for-sale housing inventory and the increase in sales and prices are neither abnormal nor ominous. Rather, the housing market is emerging fully from its bubble-and-bust period with regained health. Inventory levels, sales and prices also set the stage for continued improvement. Therefore, we can expect to see more good news coming - most likely when the 2014 spring/summer selling season emerges. It looks as though 2013 could be the pivotal year needed to produce a bright future in housing.  (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.  


Southern California PREP:

Co-chairs: Government, Tauna Mallis, and Business, Zachary Zaharek,


On September 11, 2013, First American Data Tree and Data Trace Information Services hosted the Third Annual Southern California Property Records Education Partners (PREP) conference at First American Title's international headquarters in Santa Ana, California.  The conference's theme was: "We are Family."  The '70s hit single was played during breaks emphasizing that the real estate ecosystem consists of government and private sectors including law enforcement, real estate brokers, title companies, data analytic companies, county recorders, lenders, and appraisers.  This ecosystem swirls around one common asset - residential real estate, which provides shelter and jobs for all involved in the industry. 

The agenda included Wells Fargo Home Mortgage's Carol Miller, Vice President, Strategic Partner Management Group who participated in a Q&A discussion of lending issues and hot topics.

The next agenda item was another panel of Clerks/Recorders/Assessor including:
  • Hugh Nguyen (Orange County Clerk-Recorder),
  • Dean Logan (Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder/County Clerk),
  • Dan Harp (Assistant Assessor-Recorder for San Bernardino County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk),  
  • Larry W. Ward (Riverside County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder),  
  • Val Wood (Chief Deputy Recorder/Clerk for San Diego County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk).   

The recorders discussed their organizational structures, this year's accomplishments, and new initiatives surrounding automation and eRecording.  

The third and final agenda item was a panel of deputy district attorneys from several Real Estate Fraud Divisions including:
  • Lance Cantos (San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney),  
  • Peter W. Pierce (Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney),  
  • Raymond Ramirez (Riverside County Deputy District Attorney), 
  • Vance Welch (San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney).  

Each district attorney presented an opening statement of a recent real estate fraud trial that each prosecuted.  With more than 100 registered attendees, the PREP conference was a success, bringing together a "family" of real estate professionals from different sectors, allowing them to network and learn from each other. (Read complete minutes on the PREP website.) 





PRIA Board Approves Models of eRecording Paper for Publication

excerpted from The American Surveyor 10/16/13

The Board of Directors of the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) has approved for publication the group's most recent White Paper, "Models of eRecording - Updated." This White Paper was produced and submitted by PRIA's Business and Technical Requirements Work Group under the guidance of the Technology Committee.

This paper examines the evolving nature and definition of the characteristics of land record documents submitted for electronic recording (eRecording) which were initially defined and characterized by Carl Ernst in 2000. First described as "levels," the term "models" has become predominant as eRecording has matured. Restricting discussion of eRecording to three distinct models, as was initially the case, quickly yielded to a continuum of models to accommodate emerging processes, solutions and system enhancements. This paper analyzes and explains how the continuum of eRecording makes the models relevant to the adoption of eRecording today and how the future of eRecording may be evolving into a natively paper versus a natively electronic environment.

David Ewan, PRIA president and underwriting counsel for Westcor Land Title Insurance Co.., observed, "The revision to this paper demonstrates PRIA's commitment to the property records industry to always remain relevant and provide updated standards as technology develops. The evolution of eRecording from "levels" to "models" to a continuum of models illustrates the practical application of technological advances to existing land records management systems over time."

The paper is available on the PRIA website ( for both members and non-members. (Read complete article.)



Clearwater County, Minnesota Starts eRecording with Simplifile    

excerpted from PR Web 10/24/13


Simplifile is now providing eRecording in Clearwater County, Minnesota, enabling the county's customers to submit land documents for recording electronically for faster, more efficient recording.


Customers including title companies, banks, attorneys, lien filers, and others who submit land documents to Clearwater County Recorder Brenda Knable's office will be able to do so more quickly and conveniently from their computer. Other benefits of eRecording include savings on postage, fuel, paper, and check-writing expenses, as recording fees are able to be processed via ACH, or Automated Clearing House.


Clearwater is the 59th Minnesota county to implement Simplifile's eRecording technology. (Read complete article.) 


PRIA Hosts:  Title Plants 101 Webinar - November 14, 2013
Title Plants 101 - Webinar

Register Today!


3 p.m., ET, Thursday, November 14, 2013


Registration Fee:  Complimentary for PRIA Members; $25 all others  


PRIA invites you to participate in a webinar,Title Plants 101, presented by David Floyd, President of SKLD Title Services and Christopher Broekema, Vice President - Supply Chain Management at RedVision    

David Floyd is the President of SKLD Title Services, Inc, in Denver, Colorado. SKLD was originally formed in 1961 and currently posts and maintains title plants serving fifteen Colorado counties, including the Denver and Colorado Springs metropolitan areas. David joined SKLD in 2000 and was named President in 2002.

Christopher Broekema has worked in the Title Industry for over 20 years.  Christopher currently serves as Vice President - Supply Chain Management at RedVision which hosts title plants and information services covering 180 counties nationwide.  Prior to working at RedVision he served as Vice President of Colorado Record Data and as a Systems Administrator for United General Title.  Throughout his career he has worked at several title agencies as a Title Plant Property Locator, Title Examiner and Policy Department Manager. 

What you can expect to learn:  
  • What a title plant is and the different types of plants that exist,
  • The various services title plants provide to their customers,
  • The role title plants play in the typical real estate transaction,
  • The benefits and value of title plants to not only the title industry, but also government and most importantly, consumers. 

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

Register Today! 



Title Plants 101

 3 p.m., ET, Thursday, November 14, 2013

            Complimentary for PRIA Members; $25 for non-members   


Two New York Counties Accept eRecordings with Help from CSC

Susan Dwyer, County Clerk, from Cayuga County and James Culbertson, County Clerk, from Livingston County, recently announced that they both have begun to electronically record ("eRecord") real estate and land use records.


"We're pleased to offer this new benefit to submitters of land records," Culbertson states. "We're confident that electronic submitters will experience faster recordation of their documents and quicker notification of the recorded documents."  


And Dwyer states, "In the next year alone, we expect to improve turnaround times and reduce processing costs as a result of eRecording." 


Both Cayuga and Livingston County's partnerships with CSC

will allow title companies, law firms, financial institutions, and other real 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 these counties.


Pioneer Technology Group Announces Agreement to Install Benchmark Paperless Court Case Management System in Ottawa County, Ohio 

excepted from PR Web 10/15/13


Ottawa County, Ohio will soon join the ranks of paperless courts when it converts to the Benchmark case management system in 2014. The new electronic processing system will save time for court staff, clerks, attorneys, and the public, while also unifying many departments within the court. The new paperless system will eliminate delays created by moving paper court files from department to department. Instead, all departments within the court will now have immediate, real time access to case files in a paperless environment that includes online access, electronic case filing, electronic signatures, and additional features for the public and the court staff.


"After a review of numerous case management system and vendors, Pioneer was selected by the Judges of the Juvenile/Probate Division as well as the General Division of the Common Pleas Court. The Benchmark Program will enable the Common Pleas Courts to increase efficiency by providing a flexible, customized solution to all aspects of case management and adjudication" said James Van Eerten, Court Administrator and Magistrate. (Read complete article.)


ALTA NEWS:  ALTA Gains 1,000 New Members in 2013


ALTA reported during its Annual Convention in Palm Beach, FL., it has recruited more than 1,000 new members in 2013. Earlier this year, ALTA reported record membership for a fourth consecutive year with membership now totaling nearly 4,800 member companies. 


"It is an exciting time to be part of the land title industry," said Frank Pellegrini, ALTA's past president. "We continue to grow as an association because of the dedication and enthusiasm of our members. With new initiatives such as the Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices, ALTA continues to unite the industry and increase the value proposition of ALTA to our members.

ALTA's membership includes title insurance companies, title agents, abstracters, and real estate attorneys; the majority of these members are small business owners that rely on the variety of services and benefits that ALTA provides."  


Links to National News


Regulators Vow to Work with Industry on Mortgage Rules
The Hill | October 28, 2013
A pair of top housing regulators pledged Monday to work with the lending industry to implement sweeping new mortgage regulations meant to stave off a repeat of the foreclosure crisis of the late 2000s.


Federal Money Slow to Get to Homeowners
USA Today | October 29, 2013
A $7.6 billion federal program to help homeowners avoid foreclosure in 18 states and the District of Columbia has gotten just 22% of its funds to homeowners more than three years after its launch.


Pending Home Sales Slip: Flat Sales Next Year?
USA Today | October 28, 2013
Pending home sales slip in September, but tight home inventory should still continue to push prices up but at a slower pace.


The Wall Street Journal | October 28, 2013

A new paper raises concerns that mortgage lending standards - after becoming dangerously lax during the housing bubble - could now lock out qualified entry-level homeowners, leading policymakers and industry officials to learn the wrong lessons from the housing bust.  



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In This Issue
Housing's Trends Signal a Bright Future
News from PREP Chapters - Southern California
PRIA Board Approves Models of eRecording White Paper
Clearwater County, MN Starts eRecording with Simplifile
Title 101 Webinar
Two New York Counties Accept eRecordings with Help from CSC
Pioneer Technology Agrees to Install Court Case Management System
Links to National News
PREP Blog and PREP LinkedIn
Advertise in PRIA's Newsletters
Examples of PRIA's Products 
PREP Chapter Meetings
   Fall 2013 

      Metro Minnesota

      New York

      SE Minnesota 

      Central Florida


      Central Texas

      North Central Texas

      Washington State


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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