Some jurisdictions in Maryland have begun using a 1st page cover sheet which the clerk attaches to the final recorded document.
This 1st page cover sheet becomes part of the public record and is being used by the Clerks of the Court to allow them to have space for their stamps.
Many in our industry have taken issue with the use of this 1st page cover sheet fearing that it will cause confusion in future title searches, specifically as it relates to "being clauses"
It is common practice in Maryland for abstractors to send their report to us listing the open mortgages and exceptions by Liber/Folio using, obviously, the first recorded page as the official reference. It is also common practice for title agents to print page 1 of the document referred to in the title report and to only print the balance of the recorded document if the lender needs it. Title agents typically review the recorded documents on line thereby saving the expense of printing needlessly.
If the clerks of the court insist on using this blank 1st page cover sheet, all recording done in these jurisdiction will have a first page that all look exactly alike on first glance. While the document does have a receipt printed on it which does refer to the document type and the name of the Grantor/Grantee it will be difficult for those of us reviewing title to accurately review and report the status of title without having to go beyond the abstractor's report and retreiving the "actual" first page for review.
And, too, how do we report the recorded document? Do we report the blank first page, which has only a receipt on it or do we report "page 2" which is the beginning of the "meat" of the document?
MLTA has proposed that a compromise be attempted with the Clerk's offices and have suggested that this new blank page be added to the end of the document, rather than at the beginning. The clerk has balked at this option.
I have scheduled a meeting with the Clerk of the Court for Harford County on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 1:00 pm. to be held in my office- Key Title, Inc. , 35 Fulford Avenue, Bel Air, MD 21014
If you want your voice to be heard on this issue, please join us. Please RSVP to me at firstname.lastname@example.org . If you cannot attend, please weigh in here with your opinion of this practice or to offer additional compromise solutions.