To protect the integrity of this nation’s property transfer system, the robo-signing controversy must result in a better system of transferring property and loans. Beneath this public debacle exists another old timer in the world of recording: property transfer mistakes. Improper, mistaken, or wrongly executed and indexed instruments have existed since the birth of the first recording system and have had our courts both provide and fail to deliver justice for the victors and victims of these follies. Although the title industry does an enormous job of limiting these problems and fighting them from the trenches, a number still squeeze under the radar and enter our court system.

There are three common mistakes whereby buyers and lenders lose the priority they should otherwise have under the recording statutes: (i) improperly executed documents, (ii) improperly indexed documents, and (iii) untimely submitted documents. To these ordinary errors, the courts have had a variety of responses. The use of modern technology, however, could eliminate most of these human caused problems, and, when dealing with assets as valuable as real property, a relatively minor investment of governmental funds in creating such a technology could pay back enormous gains in modernizing the system.

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