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Land Records E-Recording System Goes Live in Howard County
ELLICOTT CITY, MARYLAND (October 18, 2016) ─ The Maryland Judiciary, in collaboration with Maryland and Howard County government partners, has launched a new electronic recording system for land records in Howard County.
The new system significantly improves the paper-based process for transferring real property. Customers are now able to record electronically, or “e-record,” land record documents, providing greater convenience, accuracy, security, and reliability while saving time and other resources. The current paper process involves transporting papers to and from several locations and can take weeks, while e-recording can be accomplished online in minutes.
“Implementing e-recording for land records creates meaningful efficiencies for people who access Maryland’s courts,” said Mary Ellen Barbera, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals. “From e-recording of land records to electronic case filing, the Maryland Judiciary is working with partners throughout the state to create forward-thinking solutions to serve the people as effectively as possible.”
Howard County’s new e-recording system is a cooperative effort by the Judiciary’s Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Howard County, the Howard County Department of Budget and Finance, and the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
Howard County is the second jurisdiction to launch e-recording. Baltimore County was the first to implement e-recordation on a pilot basis in the spring of 2015. The success of the initial pilot program led to the Court of Appeals’ authorization of its continuation and expansion statewide.
“E-recording is another essential step forward as Maryland’s courts strive to meet citizens’ needs for convenient, streamlined services, increased efficiency, and improved access,” said State Court Administrator Pamela Q. Harris.
The Judiciary’s 2015 to 2020 Strategic Plan places an emphasis on modernizing its infrastructure, expanding access to court services, and improving coordination within the court system and among government and other partners. Approximately 95 percent of land record documents are eligible for e-recording, based on the Baltimore County pilot.
“This service will benefit the court’s customers by increasing efficiency and saving staff time, which can be used to provide other services and help the people who come to the courthouse,” said Laura S. Kiessling, Administrative Judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit (Anne Arundel, Carroll, and Howard counties).
Howard County Administrative Judge Lenore R. Gelfman said, “Recording land records is one of the essential services provided in our circuit courts. There has been a seamless transition to the improved recording service, which is a tribute to the court staff and everyone working together behind the scenes, planning, training, and implementing the new technology.”
“We have a winning strategy for everyone because we can now provide customers with an option that is convenient, accurate, and efficient, while continuing to accept paper documents as needed. Costs are reduced for all involved. It’s a giant leap forward for land recordation and for our customers,” said Wayne A. Robey, Clerk of the Circuit Court for Howard County.
Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman said, “We are pleased to be able to improve services to Howard County citizens with the introduction of e-recording. By working together with the Howard County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office and the Judiciary, we can provide a convenient, secure, time-efficient, and accurate way to record these documents.”Howard County was identified by the title industry as a high priority for e-recording. The new system has been well-received, with 85 title companies signing up within the first few days of the August 25 launch to e-record in Howard County.
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