Last year, True North Title partnered with Earnnest to make the delivery and deposit of earnest money easier and trackable. Earnnest allows for a fully digital transfer of funds from the buyer’s bank account, to our escrow account.
How does Earnnest work?
True North Title, or the real estate agent, uses the Earnnest app to create an EMD request from the buyer:
Once this is done, the buyer creates an account on Earnnest, verifies their bank account information, and sends the earnest money deposit. All parties then receive a receipt with proof of deposit. The buyer’s bank account information is never stored, nor disclosed to anyone else in the transaction. Best of all, there’s no need to deliver a paper check in-person or get a money order!
For more details, here’s a video of how Earnnest + True North Title works!
If there is a positive impact COVID19 has had on our industry, it is the way it had forced some areas to embrace technology and implement e-recording of land records. Below is the latest list of areas in which we can currently electronically record documents in Virginia and North Carolina.
After a buyer and seller sign their closing documents, the recordable documents (very often, a deed and deed of trust) are put to record at the applicable courthouse. At many courthouses in Virginia, we can now electronically (e-record) these documents. Our post-closing department handles e-recording by updating the title search, uploading the documents and paying the applicable recording fees and taxes to the courthouse. The land records department then reviews and accepts the documents.
Frequently asked questions:
How does e-recording work? Using a secure interface, True North Title uploads recordable documents directly to the courthouse. The courthouse then examines the documents, accepts them and processes the documents for recording in their system.
What if the documents aren’t accepted by the courthouse? Normally, if the documents aren’t initially accepted, it’s due to a transmission error and we are able to promptly resubmit for acceptance.
At what point will you disburse the transaction? Once the documents are in the “received” stage with the courthouse (which means the courthouse has acknowledged the receipt of our transmission), we are able to disburse the transaction. Keep in mind, that the same guidelines apply regarding recording and disbursement in that we must have all funds from all parties cleared in our escrow account before we can record the transaction.
Are there documents that cannot be e-recorded? Yes, each courthouse has a list of documents which still require paper recording. For example, Montgomery County will not accept an e-recorded power of attorney. Most courthouses require surveys to be paper recorded, UCC documents, lis pendens, etc.
Is there an additional cost to e-record? No, in fact, it’s just the opposite. There is a $5 per document charge to paper record at courthouses that are now accepting e-recordings (unless we are recording a document that requires a paper recording).
Are there challenges with e-recording? Yes, as with all newer technologies, there is a learning curve. Smaller courthouses may have just 1 or 2 employees in their land records department and sometimes, those employees work in other departments within the courthouse. Even though we send the documents to them promptly, that doesn’t mean they will get recorded immediately.
When can you e-record in Virginia jurisdictions not currently accepting e-recorded documents? We are in regular communication with our vendor and they are working with other courthouses to get the e-recording system setup. As we are notified of new jurisdictions accepting e-recordings, we will communicate with agents and lenders.
As of today, we are able to E-Record in the following jurisdictions in Virginia: