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Uncertain future for Madison County Recorder of Deeds

Visit to the Department of Finance. Before taking the documents to be filed, you will need to stop at the Department of Finance to collect the tax stamps. Make sure you have an FPC and an accepted, completed MyDec entire declaration paper clipped together for each filing. You will wait in line for a specific cashier who is designated to issue stamps; there will be others in the same line who are only there to pay tickets and bills, and they will pass you up, often causing confusion, jealousy and frustration.

Once you are given the stamps, make sure you separate out each stamp and receipt for each deed. Keep the printed MyDecs. Once you have the stamps, which come as a sticker with a barcode on them, you will stick them on to the signed, notarized deed. If it is your first time filing a deed, or if you are new to the process, it is most likely best to wait for the supervision of a document reviewer from the Recorder of Deeds to ensure you are abiding by all document requirements.

Upon completion of your visit to the Department of Finance, with all your documents, stamps, receipts, and MyDecs, you will proceed directly across the hall to the Recorder of Deeds. It is required that you stick the stamps on the deed yourself; no personnel can do this step for you. Because most financing contracts and mortgages require as a condition of borrowing money that the deed conveying the property and other associated documents be immediately recorded, as do the terms and conditions of a contract for title insurance, most deeds and conveyance instruments are recorded.

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In Illinois, public information about real property is hard to find. Many are surprised that no single government agency has custody over all important data regarding real property and are often frustrated that they must visit so many different offices for necessary information relating to one transaction.

Most are also not aware that a parcel of real property can be fraudulently conveyed to another by simply forging and recording a new deed, something that can be done anonymously through the mail. Another misconception is certification of records. Certification is normally done with a physical embosser and can be confirmed via tactile inspection.

Under Illinois law, it is possible to possess an otherwise valid deed conveying property to the grantee, but the deed not being in a format entitled to be recorded. It is a common misconception that a Recorder of Deeds must accept all documents for recording. For example, if a deed does not display on the first page the information about who prepared it, it can be rejected for recording until rectified without affecting the validity of the act of conveyance described therein. If it is not in a physical format that allows CCRD to reproduce it, the document can be rejected.

It is important to remember that the conveyance and recording are two separate acts, and as stated earlier, the act of recording is not required to have a valid conveyance.

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This means that the Recorder of Deeds is often the last step in the process, and the owners may take possession of the property even before the act of recording. This is because the conveyance already occurred upon signing and delivering the conveyance instrument. Notarization the process of having a trusted third party confirm the identity of the person signing a document is also hard to accomplish on anything other than paper. Though CCRD has taken steps to encourage paperless submissions increasing paperless submissions from , per year to over , , the hectic nature of closing real estate transactions leaves many industry professionals unable or unwilling to try new methods.

The storage and reproduction of public records throughout history has been limited to a handful of different formats, and is even mentioned in the Bible as consisting of creating two copies of a land deed one sealed, one open, and storing them in earthenware jars — Jeremiah Traditionally before , conveyancing instruments and liens were brought to the CCRD and left there for employees to make complete transcriptions by hand into ledger books. Upon completion, the original records were returned. In the s and s, land records offices across the United States began transitioning to electronic database management systems known as DBMS that replaced ledger-book reproductions of documents with computer files created by scanning the original instruments, and replaced index books with computer databases.

Though a document can arrive today at CCRD in one of three ways — over the counter paper , mail or courier paper , or e-recording digital file — the workflow for placing each of them in the public record is essentially the same. If a record is received over the counter, it is immediately scanned and converted to a digital computer file, and the original is immediately returned to the customer with a physical label placed on it indicating the time and date of receipt and its unique document number.

The process is the same for documents received by mail, except that the original is returned via mail.

If the document is deficient beyond the scope of a nonstandard penalty, it is rejected and must be adjusted or corrected before resubmitting. E-recordings must also meet the basic recording requirements, in addition to some technological attributes high enough image resolution for clarity, 8. Electronic documents that are recorded are electronically returned to the customer with the recording timestamp electronically affixed. All documents must then go through the next critical phase: indexing. Indexing a document is the manual extraction and keying of certain data points to enable searching and to allow the database to render a full chain-of-title by displaying each document affecting a specific Property Index Number or PIN the unique ID assigned to each parcel.


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Indexing the image file to the PIN and legal description is the fundamental way of keeping the public record organized, and mistakes in this process can make it impossible to find a document that represents a valid interest in or claim against property. Therefore, the CCRD can be seen to actually keep two sets of public records: an image file of every document presented, and various indices e.

The image record is the only record that can be certified by the CCRD; the index of data, while a helpful resource meant to enable people to locate a document using a variety of search queries, is by the nature of its creation subject to human error. It is believed that most title insurance companies do not rely on the data from the indices and generally inspect each image file themselves as needed to ensure accuracy.

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The blockchain itself provides the settlement of the transaction and the notarization act of timestamping, while also ensuring the Bitcoin is not counterfeit. The blockchain is the underlying data management structure database ledger that makes Bitcoin possible.

The Bitcoin blockchain was a novel and revolutionary idea whose genius comes from how it was assembled, as many of its components were not new at the time —9. A blockchain is based on the concept of a distributed database where all users share identical copies of the ledger , but one that not only can be read by all, but can be written to by all. To insert a fraudulent transaction would require rewriting not only the block containing the transaction, but also at least every block that follows it.

Bitcoin protects itself against denial of service, spam and fraudulent transactions by using a protocol called Proof of Work, which ensures validity and consensus by requiring the expenditure of actual resources to solve complex cryptographic puzzles. This process is the only way new bitcoin are created, and the protocol currently limits the total amount of bitcoin that can ever be created.

Mining bitcoin is a resource-intensive endeavor electricity costs, component cooling costs , and the inventor s of Bitcoin utilized game theory to configure it, meaning that it is more profitable to participate in the system in the way it was designed earning new bitcoin by helping ensure consensus than it is to try to rewrite the transactions it would cost more in electricity to attempt to manipulate the chain than it would to simply dedicate that computing power to mining for new bitcoin.

Though there are many competing approaches as to how blockchain technology should be deployed, with partisans defending every side, CCRD has identified some key components of the Bitcoin blockchain that should serve as minimum features of any custom-built blockchain or ledger that may be used by a governmental office:. If blockchain is thought to be a solution, it is important that we describe the problems it can solve.

It is hard to deny that the process of acquiring clear title to residential or commercial real estate is complicated, requiring the participation of many people, including the buyer and seller, lawyers for each, an escrow agent, an appraiser, a lender and their counsel generally and a title insurer.

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The process of acquiring clear title is sufficiently complicated that private insurance is usually obtained to cover any potential risks. However, as Goldman Sachs found in its report Blockchain: Putting Theory into Practice , title insurance may be the only type of insurance where the cost of a policy is not based on actuarial risk generally, miniscule, in dollar terms , but rather it is based on the actual labor and effort of title company employees. In response to the housing crisis of the late s, where aspiration, greed and fraud combined to harm the global economy, the federal government began adding more regulations to an already highly-regulated industry sector.

This increasing complexity, with many hands touching every part of a transaction, is not only the biggest challenge to implementing a new way of doing business, but it may also be the biggest reason for implementing a new way of doing business. Property records held by governmental entities are a natural fit with a database structure that technologically binds each record to its prior record. This chain-of-title is also legally immutable, meaning that records are never deleted, even if they were executed incorrectly by private parties.

These records are presumed to be unchanged by the general public who views them, and for nearly every record, that is the case. CCRD does not, as a policy, replace already-recorded document image files with new ones.

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In rare cases where an initial scan to capture the image by CCRD staff does not result in a clear image, the Quality Assurance process will re-scan the saved copy of the original submission, which is kept for 30 days. Though the storage conventions show that blockchain makes sense for land records, it must solve a problem to make sense to move towards such a system.

Problems currently experienced by government that could be addressed by this technology include:. Government resources are scarce and mounting pension obligations are placing great pressure on the delivery of services. Blockchain can allow for improved service delivery using fewer employees, or it can enable a better service that will result in revenue for government and savings for homebuyers. It can also allow counties that lack the resources to implement electronic document recording systems to join an economy of scale.

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A system that is data-based rather than reliant on scanning documents and printing labels can be administered using standard desktop computers with fewer peripherals. The current paper-dependent mode of executing and recording transactions requires at CCRD that a human employee manually inspect a scanned image of an instrument and retype the data points that are necessary for the property index to be searchable. This manual process is always at risk of error. As noted earlier, blockchains can unify the conveyance with the public record, meaning that the public record would be an exact and perfect replica of what actually happened, adding de facto accuracy to the de jure accuracy, or presumed accuracy, we have now.

Such a cyberattack, if successful, would shake the very core of our economic system and would exacerbate mistrust of government and business.