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Bring Back the Books!
by Robert Franco | 2007/01/26 |

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I love technology. But you have to know its limitations and it is certainly not the best solution for every problem.

Case in point, the computers in our home county are down today because the examiners noticed that not everything was coming up when they searched the records. They would search for name and the results would indicate that there were 33 records found. However, when they tried to look at them, only 2 would appear. In other situation, they were searching for names that they knew should have had results and it would indicate 'none found'.

When this was brought to the attention of the clerks, they said "yes, we are aware of the problem and we are working on it." But, they didn't bother to tell any of the examiners working in their office. How many people missed documents and didn't realize it? There is no way to know.

The clerk isn't even sure when the problem with the ACS indexing system started. Therefore, all of the searches done the past few days are now suspect. Unfortunately, those are already in the hands of the clients and closing. Will the examiner get the blame for any missing mortgages - you bet! Once the system is working properly again, there will be no record of which records were affected - they don't even know that. They have no explanation for why some records show up and others don't.

We didn't have this problem with the book indexes. Once it was written in the index it was there, reliably, day after day. This isn't the first time we have had problems in this county with mysterious 'disappearing' and 'reappearing' of records in the computer index. That begs the question, how many times has it happened that nobody is aware of? That is certainly a scary thought.

So... what was the point on spending thousands of dollars for a computer system that is less reliable than the cheap old pen and paper, book indexing systems that worked extremely well for hundreds of years? It reminds me of the millions of dollars NASA spent on developing a pen that would write in zero gravity so astronauts could write in space. What was wrong with using a 10 cent pencil??

Robert A. Franco

Source of Title Blog ::


Categories: Abstractors, Technology

544 words | 3446 views | 10 comments | log in or register to post a comment

Seen similar things around here, on...
Seen similar things around here, one county in particular coming to mind. Their tract was full of holes, wrong information, system glitches... and the worst part was their disclaimer when signing on to their system. It went along the lines of "Blahblah County cannot be held liable or accountable for any information missing, incorrectly filed or indexed, or any other inaccuracies found in this database".

To further complicate that one, this particular county is grantor-grantee, only recently adding in legal descriptions to their searchable indexes. Very scary.
by Ben Kohnen | 2007/01/26 | log in or register to post a reply

Maintenance of paper indexes is som...
Maintenance of paper indexes is something that every searcher should push for even if they don't use them for several reasons:

a) They're easier for the public to use and understand;
b) They help supplement limited computer terminals during busy times;
c) They will still work when the system goes down for whatever reason;
d) They provide a record of indexing mistakes in case you get burned (and they correct the database before you can recheck it);
e) They are usually required by state law.

This last one is a bit irksome to me since many counties decide not to print paper indexes because it is "too expensive" or takes up too much staff time. Never mind how much more the million plus system costs. Paper indexes are just a fraction of that cost now. The excuses not to print have more to do with laziness in my mind than anything else.
by David Jenkins | 2007/01/26 | log in or register to post a reply

Hey, I just noticed the plug for Ra...
Hey, I just noticed the plug for Radical. Thanks! 
by Diane Cipa, General Manager, The Closing Specialists® | 2007/01/26 | log in or register to post a reply

As part of our due diligence progra...
As part of our due diligence program, we have begun the practice of printing hard copies of our counties' computer indices and making them part of the abstractor's notes for this very reason. Thus, there is evidence of any discrepancy in the record.

Even if the county assesses a per page charge to do so, it's a small price to pay should an issue ever arise.
by Scott Perry | 2007/01/27 | log in or register to post a reply

Scott: Your website indicates you ...
Scott: Your website indicates you use TitleSmart to do your searches?

"Finding new ways to meld time-tested methodology with leading-edge technology is what we do best! Our clients can now place orders and retrieve search results via the World Wide Web utilizing our exclusive TitleSMART™ Search Technology. Our TitleSMART™ Search Reports are revolutionizing the land title industry by providing the most accurate, up-to-date information available, with some of the fastest turnaround times anywhere!"

What's YOUR take on FATIC putting TitleSmart terminals into lender's offices and disintermediating you?
by Diane Cipa, General Manager, The Closing Specialists® | 2007/01/29 | log in or register to post a reply

BTW - Anyone concerned about TitleS...
BTW - Anyone concerned about TitleSmart or other automated search/examination/title commitment systems, please go to Radical Title Talk and sign our petition. 
by Diane Cipa, General Manager, The Closing Specialists® | 2007/01/29 | log in or register to post a reply

Dear Mr. Franco,
I just read...
Dear Mr. Franco,
I just read your article "Bring Back the Books" and you have hit on a "Hot" Topic here in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Independent Title Examiners Association, Inc. (MITEA) is currently addressing the issue of computer errors with various authorities. Rcecently we had a situtation in Essex County (South) where a Mortgage had come for recording through the mail. The inexperienced clerk opening the mail recorded it, as directed. Unfortunately sometime later it was discovered the mortgage was Registered Land and should have been recorded in the Registered Land Court Department, not on the Recorded Land side. Instead of taking the proper necessary steps, that anyone off the street would have been required to do, the Recoding Clerks peeled off the recording information sticker and took another mortgage out of the mail and reapplied the first mortgage recording information to the new mortgage! The only reason this act was discovered was due to the keen eye of a title examiner who watched the clerks do it. When the Title Examiner questioned them and told them they "couldn't do that" the Title Examiner was publicly insulted for causing a fuss.
Needless to say we are very much aware that this type of thing happens regularly in all Registries, as we have polled our members. The manipulation of the Public Record by Computer programers is a clear violation of the integrity of the Recording system and jepordizes everyone and anyone who uses it. Much more needs to be done to prevent this practice from happening much longer. MITEA would like to hear from others for ideas as to handle this on a National level. We would also like to share our ideas as well.

Thank you,
Denald McCarthy, Pres. MITEA
by Denald McCarthy | 2007/01/30 | log in or register to post a reply

Dear Ms. Cipa:

Just to...
Dear Ms. Cipa:

Just to clarify, our TitleSMART(TM) system is in no way affiliated with First American. Having used the name commercially since 2002, we believe that their use of the name "TitleSmart" constitutes trademark infringement. We are pursuing the matter with counsel and are taking the necessary steps to protect our rights under the law.

While we do our best to utilize available technologies in the interest of improving customer service, the information contained in our abstract reports is gathered and organized by a qualified title searcher who physically visits each courthouse.

As to your question of my take on the situation, I simply don't see how their system can furnish as complete and accurate a search as they claim, particularly in light of how technologically "backward" some of our counties are.

Best regards,
Scott L. Perry, President
Jireh Business Information Solutions, Inc.
by Scott Perry | 2007/01/30 | log in or register to post a reply

Thanks, Scott: I was wondering and...
Thanks, Scott: I was wondering and wish you well on your fight over the trademark issue. We use your services and you do a great job.

Hope you'll join the fight and sign the Coalition Petition.
by Diane Cipa, General Manager, The Closing Specialists® | 2007/02/02 | log in or register to post a reply

bring back the books

come to think of , i have had the experience where the puter said 3 docs, but when i went to see the image's all i found was 2. that is why i always go to the recorders office and look in the books to verify what i found online

by charles jetter | 2008/08/11 | log in or register to post a reply
Source of Title Blog

Robert A. FrancoThe focus of this blog will be on sharing my thoughts and concerns related to the small title agents and abstractors. The industry has changed dramatically over the past ten years and I believe that we are just seeing the beginning. As the evolution continues, what will become of the many small independent title professionals who have long been the cornerstone of the industry?

Robert A. Franco



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