Land records going paperless

From the Times:

Paperless land records

Mercer County launched the first phase of its electronic filing system yesterday that will allow businesses to submit land records, such as mortgages and deeds, over the Internet instead of mailing the documents to the clerk’s office.

The e-filing system has been adopted by 10 other counties since its creation in 2003. At that time, the project’s founder, Monmouth County Clerk Claire French, was looking for a program that would help offset the growing volume of land documents being sent to the county for approval.

Because of low interest rates in the housing market, French said, the clerk’s office went from receiving hundreds of requests a day to more than 1,000.

“We faced a real problem: How could we deal with the enormous amount of paperwork that kept pouring in?” French said. “Since then, this system has saved us hours every day. On average I receive 1,000 requests daily, and now 25 percent of them are handled di rectly online.”

Though the first phase still requires users to mail in documents, Ruparel said that by the summer, the system will be upgraded and become completely electronic.

At that time, companies will be able to scan the documents onto the site, and if approved by the clerk’s office, the records will be stamped electronically and processed into the clerk’s internal da tabase, Ruparel said.

“But it’s not an all or nothing system,” he said. “People can still request and file documents the old fashioned way.”

Seven counties, including Burlington and Camden, have already integrated this phase into their systems, he said.

The system can be accessed here: New Jersey County Reporting

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