September 27, 2011
Idoni’s Bill Advocacy Will Lead to Efficient and Effective Public and Private Sector Services
On Friday, September 23, 2011, Governor Cuomo ended New York’s distinction as the only state that did not allow electronic recording of land records such as deeds and mortgages. “The enactment of this legislation is a key step forward in our mission to make government easy and more efficient,” began Westchester County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni, the co-chair of the New York State Association of County Clerks’ (NYSACC) Electronic Recording Committee and a leading proponent of the legislation. “We will soon be able to provide better service at a lower cost to Westchester County taxpayers,” he continued. Idoni cited the following benefits that will come with electronic recording:
- Government Efficiency: Document images move through daily workflow more efficiently than paper documents.
- Private Sector Efficiency: Delivery time delays and risk of document loss are eliminated, while the document rejections and recording times are reduced.
- Consumer Protection: Ownership and loan documents are placed on record more quickly, confirming ownership and reducing the risk of mortgage fraud.
- Government Costs Reduced: Documents submitted electronically do not need to be scanned or mailed; eliminating scanning and document return costs.
- Private Sector Costs Reduced: Documents no longer need to be sent via messenger, overnight mail or regular mail to a County Clerk’s Office.
- A Green Initiative: Paperless documents, in addition to scanned images, are now authorized and paper mailing supplies are eliminated.
- Private Sector Convenience: Documents can be submitted at any hour of the day, even if the office is closed, and can be submitted from any location with an internet connection.
The State now has twelve months to enact consistent standards through the New York State Office for Technology. “Our focus now shifts to providing a consistent approach in the offices of County Clerks and the New York City Register,” continued Idoni. The program is voluntary. When electronic recording goes into effect, each County Clerk or the City Register will choose whether to participate. A participating office will provide the following options:
- Hardcopy paper filings can still be delivered for recording; or
- Hardcopy paper filings can be scanned by a customer and electronically submitted for recording; or
- An electronic record, containing any necessary electronic signatures, can be electronically submitted for recording.
“We are grateful to our many partners in this process who understood that there were efficiencies and cost-savings to be captured for both the public and private sector,” stated Idoni. NYSACC made electronic recording their sole 2011 legislative priority which received support from the New York State Land Title Association, the New York State Bar Association and the New York Bankers Association. The legislation was sponsored in the Senate (S.2373A) by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and the Assembly (A.6870A) by Assemblyman George Latimer. Idoni also noted the assistance of the staffs of Governor Paterson, Governor Cuomo, the Assembly Judiciary Committee and Albany County Clerk Thomas Clingan in the drafting of the legislation.
For more information on the Office of the Westchester County Clerk, visit www.WestchesterClerk.com or call (914)995-3080.