The new law standardizing documents filed in the county recorders' offices goes into effect on July 1, 2009 in Ohio. Non-conforming documents must still be accepted, but there will be an additional fee of $20. The main impetus behind this seems to be that the new recordation systems in the recorders' office make it more difficult to fit the recording information on documents, so they are requiring certain margins. This does seem ridiculous, because a very simple solution would have been to add a blank page, if necessary, at a cost of $8. Now, they will be charging $20. There is no common sense in government anymore.
Anyway, my main concern about this is that we will inevitably be asked my many of our clients to advance the $20 fee on filings that do not conform to the new rules. Obviously $20 will be much less expensive than returning the documents, having them redrafted and executed, and then sent back. However, with so many companies not paying the full amount of the copy fees we currently advance, I can't see them actually reimbursing us for this extra recording expense. At the very least, it will be a major headache trying to collect this fee once advanced and their documents are on record.
I'm not sure how to handle this. We could advance the fees and take our chances. Or, we could require them to send us the $20 before we record, but I don't like the idea of delaying a recording. We could just start sending them all back with a note that the filing fees were $20 short and send them a copy of the new rules, but I don't think our clients would appreciate that either.
Does anyone have any thoughts? I want to accomodate our customers, but I'm already having a problem getting paid for work we actually do - I can't afford to advance more money that I'm not going to get back.
Robert A. Franco
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