By John Spencer
Recently, February 29th, the community was functioning properly, doing the things they do every day, only we were in the middle of a storm that brought expected snow to our area mid-day. Around 2:00 PM it was getting kind of dangerous up at the County offices and the County CEO decided to close the offices and send everyone home. Not unusual, general public safety was a big concern.
Meanwhile, at our only local Title Company, because it was the last day of the month, the title officers were putting the final touches on some 12 escrow closures set to record that day. This wasn’t unusual, it happens all the time; our County Recorder does this same thing every month and day for that matter. These kinds of recordings are income producing, growth, a benefit to the whole community. What goes into putting together and finishing an escrow represents a huge amount of work by realtors, escrow and title officers, lending institutions, and buyers and sellers. All of this work is culminated by the Title Company to the point they bring the recordable documents into the Recorder’s office and record the transaction. This operation is probably one of the more important operations the Recorder does. The final culmination has a closure sheet where a whole host of numbers have been calculated to the penny for that moment in time. Everyone is in agreement, funds are set to be wired, people are ready to exchange house keys, and the paperwork has to record that day or everything does not work. If it is the last day of the month, it really has to record that day. If it does not record that day (and goes into the next month) everything has to be refigured, and you may have to go back to everyone to get re-approval. Re-approval may mean you can’t even do the deal, to say nothing about extra fees the bank will charge, losing a lock on your loan, penalties, and a recalculation on property taxes. When the County shut down the operation, some 12 escrows could not record. Big, big problem.
So who cares?