Property Records Industry Assoc PRIA

Reimagining Land Records and GIS

An event, “Reimagine Land Records – Join the Conversation” orchestrated by the Legislative Committee of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Real Property Section, took place on October 20th. In attendance were an assortment of County Recorders and other County Officials, Land Surveyors, Abstractors, Attorneys, GIS Specialists, Teachers, Land Records Information Systems (LIS) Software Companies and Title Companies.

The session started out with a slide as to what constitutes land records and it was broken down three general categories and who maintains the records and uses them.

Objects (Improvements – roads, physical easements, buildings, etc.
Land Rights (Ownership, estates, government rights, liens, easements, restrictions, etc.)
People (Title, liens that tie to people, etc.)

Discussion revolved around Layers of Information needed by land title specialists and how they can be mixed and used by all most effectively. We all have a stake in this – Homeland Security; FEMA; DOT; Federal, State and local authorities; and hundreds of other entities. My takeaway of the future from the event is as follows:


In the not too distant future, we will feel light-years ahead of today. For those of us who remember typing abstracts on electric typewriters, and getting fax machines in the office, it is truly amazing. Even those who daily toil creating and printing documents, watching people sign, making copies of the signed documents, preparing them for delivery back to the lender and to the respective counties, cutting checks, etc. will see an amazing change.

THERE WILL BE NO PAPER. Documents and closings will be “Born Digital.” They will be created in a secure electronic commerce cyber-system, and emailed to the client through a secure web portal. The closer, a licensed, e-sign notary (perhaps hundreds of miles away from the clients,) will see the clients using a web-cam, review their drivers licenses against the online faces, and e-sign their notary as the clients click through, and e-sign the mortgage, deeds, and other documents.

NO PERSONAL HANDSHAKES when meeting, no paper, no file folders, no copies, no notary stamps or checks, just cyberspace. If owners need information, it will all reside in the cloud, or on their computer or flash drive.


The digitally signed documents will then be electronically submitted back to the lender, with digital copies for the title company, and of course an e-signed digital copy will go directly to the appropriate county (with e-fees) where the documents will move though departments to verify, and reside digitally.

Someday, when the owner takes a future home equity line or sells the property, a title searcher will simply go to a computer to look up the digital documents in cyberspace. But there will be only one place to look up all needed information for each piece of real estate.

A Geographic Information System, accessed by a PIN number (a smart number that ties to Sec- Twp-Rng-1/4 -1/4 and parcel) will open up a Pandora’s Box of information. We will be able to access anything you can imagine about real estate – the physical properties of buildings; terrain; topography; zoning; ownership rights, title and interests; roads; utilities; flood information; zoning; Homeland security; layer after layer.

Records from the – Treasurer, Auditor and Assessor that include current and delinquent taxes (Green Acres, etc.); type of property (single family 3BR, 3BA, 2 story, 2300 sq ft….home); Register of Deeds and Registrar office information (with the ownership, restrictions, easements, mortgages, etc.); District Court files (showing judgments, divorces and court filings against the owners); Death and Probate Court documents; Health and Human Services information (maps of wells and lien information); Federal District Court filings; Dept. of Transportation (updates on roads and widening of streets); Department of Natural Resources; Wind farms; Detailed utility information; FEMA flood maps; City zoning data; Trash bills; Photos of the property with GIS overlays and on and on.

And the records will solve problems besides title searches for many – FEMA, 911, DOT, Homeland Security, Minnegasco, Xcel, public utilities, – when a hurricane or tornado blows through, FEMA can overlay the GIS of the hurricane and know the owners names and rough amount of damage to the property. 911 will have better access to helping people,, because they will estimate number of people impacted, where the nearest hospitals are, and fastest routes to get people there. The DOT will estimate road damage will know where to concentrate their efforts. Gas and electric companies will know where the gas and power are out, and how to proceed as quickly and effectively as possible to make needed repairs.

It’s hard to believe, but the pieces are already there, it’s just (just???) that all the pieces need to be joined into one access point. The future of GIS is coming and it will be interesting.

Bank requires few mortgage documents: Seems like housing deja vu

Excerpt from CNBC 6/9/16

 They were a hallmark of the U.S. housing crash: Mortgages that required little or even no documentation.

During the boom, they were called “stated income” loans, but advertised as “low-doc” or “no-doc” loans. When the damage was done, they were deemed “liar loans.” Both lenders and borrowers alike would write basically anything on the mortgage application to get the deal done. Now, nearly a decade after the financial crisis began, a new version of the stated income loan is making a comeback.

“Lite Doc.” That is what Quontic Bank, an FDIC-insured community lender in New York City is calling its product. It requires only verification of employment and two months worth of bank statements. For self-employed borrowers, it requires documentation of one year of profit and losses. The Lite Doc loans are five-year adjustable-rate mortgages with interest rates in the low- to mid-5 percent range, according to the bank. Thirty-year fixed-rate loans, which when fully documented can offer rates in the high-3 percent range, are not part of the offering.

Read full article here

Legal Description Online Course Sale

biting nails confused childNot quite sure about that legal description?

This online course will show you how to read and draw legal descriptions. Even the “geographically impaired” will learn how to identify the correct parcel on a map, and draw out descriptions to look for possible gaps and overlaps.

An easy and fun course that simplifies and explicates descriptions.

Spring Promotion, Type: MetesandBounds into the Coupon code before March 31st for a $50 savings.

Beware of Document Prep, Imperfect Mortgage May Grant a Homebuyer a Free Home

A great article “Mortgage Recording Requirements: Tiny Technical Defect Strikes Again” in Lexology this week by Vicki Harding of Pepper Hamilton LLP, reminds us how dangerous it is for a lender or settlement to make a mistake on a Mortgage Document.   While the situation of an errant mortgage is settled in some states (such as Minnesota) where a law or title standard dismisses a recording problem, in other states, a mortgage can give a consumer a “free home” by testing the technical waters in court. Think of the potential costs to those of us that prepare mortgages every day with a careless error. Think again when preparing and reviewing those common documents.

A good quote reads:

There are a surprisingly large number of cases that avoid mortgages based on technical defects.  As illustrated by this case, two points to remember:  (1) on the one hand, just because a document was recorded does not mean that it was properly recorded so that it provides constructive notice, and (2) on the other hand, there may be remedial provisions that lead to the result that once a document is recorded specified defects are no longer relevant.

Read Article Here

How To Enter the New Electronic Certificate of Real Estate Value

ECRV Required Oct 1 2014

ECRV Required Oct 1 2014  Click here for VIDEO

E-CRV Recording Required as of October 1st

Effective October 1, 2014, the Minnesota Department of Revenue no longer accepts paper versions of the Certifiicate of Real Estate Value (CRV). County and city offices will no longer accept paper copies of the CRV, except for sales that have occurred before Oct. 1, 2014.

Please contact the revenue department if you have questions or to learn more and search “eCRV”.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue has added a toolkit to their E-CRV website that you can use to inform and promote E-CRV to all submitters and taxpayers. Included in the toolkit are:

  • Links to informational videos
  • Suggested posts for county websites and social media
  • Printable promotional materials

Access the eCRV Toolkit for Oct. 1 Changeover.  You can also access the toolkit from the eCRV homepage by clicking the "Local Government Staff" tab and finding the link under the "Resources" section.


New Online Title and Closing Education – a Work in Progress

Award, Achievement, CDEII am pleased to announce that I have just passed the Certified Distance Education Instructor (CDEI) certification! As many of you know, I have been teaching title the traditional classroom way with a passion for many years – title examination, closing, legal descriptions, changes in real estate law, title abstracting and searching. I am a title geek who is now moving to Online Title  Education both for Professional Education and for Pre-license Closer Education.

Going into new online training will be a challenge for me  that I take seriously and look forward to.

I will work hard with you to make online real estate  title education

  • interesting
  • beneficial and
  • responsive to your needs.

I hope many new and former students will become members of my online real estate “family.”  I often get emails from you, and will try to incorporate those into the online classroom along with your questions. Thanks for your support!


Jeanine W. (Jeanne) Johnson to Speak at ALTA Business Conference

Jeanine W.  Johnson will be a conference speaker at the ALTA Business Conference in Louisville, KY March 26th. A primary function of the American Land Title Association (ALTA) is to provide important educational programs.  A “Train the Title Trainer” session will explain adult learning styles and demonstrate how to teach important and complex title issues to staff. Ms Johnson is a professional speaker on title topics, and is often hired to speak at Land Title Association conferences.  She also owns an online school for Professionals in Land Title Training. Online Courses include Title Insurance, Closing, Abstracting, Title examination and National Concepts in Title.


  • For a better understanding of customer needs
  • For Fewer Claims!
  • To grow staff, so they have opportunity for a better career path
  • So that you can retire someday and they can take over 🙂

COME HEAR MORE    Jeanne Johnson is a professional Land Title Association (LTA) public speaker and teacher. She has spoken at many Land Title Conferences. At the upcoming ALTA Business Strategies Conference,she will teach a workshop on how to explain complex title topics. While the workshop focuses on understanding adult learning and instructor delivery, she demonstrates tips for training title.  A blueprint handout will show specific skills for teaching abstractors, examiners and closers complex title issues.Jeanne will actively demonstrate ways to teach to all types of learners about “rights, title and interests” so staff can identify title issues as “okay” or “problems” needing to be resolved.

And, on top of all that,  you might just find a speaker for your next land title conference!

For more information on the conference, go to this ALTA Link

Counties Look at Lawsuits Saying they were Cheated Out of Mortgage Fees

An article from Bloomberg  says that Bank of America is among a group of lenders that may face a host of  lawsuits claiming that counties were cheated out of millions of dollars by MERS, a system used for more than a decade to register mortgages.

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said state attorneys general and county officials across the U.S. have expressed interest in his lawsuit against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. and Bank of America, filed in Texas state court on Sept. 21. Dallas County could be owed as much as $100 million in filing fees, he said. Counties across the U.S. are financially strapped, and this would help bridge the gap in much needed revenues.

PRIA Promises Sparks at Industry Gathering

press release

The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) will host its Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, on September 24-27, at the Hotel Contessa.

On Saturday afternoon, September 24, PRIA will offer a pre-conference workshop on “GIS, The Integration of Land Records with GIS.” This program is designed to attract a local audience of recorders, clerks and GIS professionals to learn more about the efficiencies that are attainable by overlaying the GIS and Land Records systems within county governments. Attendees will learn about what an integration of systems entails, including workflows, data sharing and records improvements. This session is hosted by PRIA’s GIS Workgroup, chaired by Diane Swoboda Peterson, real estate/recorder deputy, Woodbury County, Iowa; and Peirce Eichelberger, ILS, Silver Spring, Md. Brent Jones, Esri’s manager of surveying, cadastral and land records, will be part of the presentation team.

A much anticipated highlight of this annual gathering will kick off on Sunday morning, September 25, with a three-hour, general session focusing on “MERS – a 360° View.” This panel discussion will be moderated by Mark Monacelli, recorder, St. Louis County, Minn.; and Richard Bramhall, senior vice president, Business Control Executive, Bank of America Home Loans. The panel will include Bill Beckmann, CEO of MERSCORP Inc. and its subsidiary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS); Marjorie Bardwell, senior staff underwriting counsel, Fidelity National Title Insurance; and Jeff Thigpen, register of deeds, Guilford County, N.C. A representative of the lending industry has also been invited to participate.

Recognizing that the scope of the land records industry extends far beyond the activities in the county recorders offices, PRIA reaches out to all industry partners to facilitate understanding and effect solutions to problems that touch the entire industry. Key among these allied interfaces is the title and lending industries, as well as MERS.

The Q&A promises to be interactive and lively with the prospect for future discussion and planning scheduled for the PRIA 2012 Winter Symposium in March. The overall conference program also includes a general session on indexing practices in the recorder’s office, consolidation of recorders’ offices, a GIS general session and a roundtable discussion on eRecording and how to achieve widespread acceptance and implementation of the PRIA/MISMO standards.

PRIA committees and workgroups will have two opportunities for working sessions during the conference with the XML Standards and Business and Technical Requirements workgroups of the Technology Committee both meeting, along with the GIS workgroup; Archival, Backup and Disaster Recovery workgroup; Uniform Numbering System workgroup; Redaction Best Practices; Notary Re-write and PREP all holding sessions in a concurrent format.

With early registration figures showing a lot of interest in this year’s conference Co-Chairs Dallas County Clerk, John Warren, and Tarrant County Clerk, Mary Louise Garcia speculate, “Here in Texas everything is always bigger, so it’s no surprise our attendance is projected to be the highest in three years. Attendees should get ready for a Texas-style welcome at the Meet ‘N’ Greet on Saturday evening following the GIS Pre-conference Workshop.”

Registration materials and hotel reservation access can be found on the PRIA website. For questions, contact the PRIA offices at 919.459.2081 or Email [email protected].

About PRIA
The Property Records Industry Association brings together government and business experts to build consensus, establish best practices and drive efficiency and effectiveness throughout the industry. For more information on PRIA, vi. sit

Info On Home Closing

Home Closing 101: An Educational Initiative of the American Land Title Association