Flat recording legislation passes!


August 1, 2019 is the effective date for this time-saving law

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On May 16, 2019, Governor Henry McMaster signed House Bill 3243 into law. You can read the short but effective statute here. House Bill 3243, better known as the Predictable Recording Fee Act (S.C. Code §8-21-310), will streamline the filing of documents in the register of deeds offices across the state by creating predictable fees for many commonly recorded documents such as deeds and mortgages. The new law will take effect on August 1, 2019. You and your staff will no longer have to count pages for documents to be recorded!

My friend and colleague, Jennifer Rubin, began work on this predictable recording Bill in the fall of 2016 when she was the President of the Palmetto Land Title Association. Our Agent and friend, Cynthia Blair, who is currently the American Land Title Association President, asked for Jennifer’s help in crafting, drafting and helping to turn the idea of predictable filing fees into law. Accepting that challenge and with the help and support of Chicago Title and PLTA, Jennifer began work on the Bill and began coordinating with the various stakeholders who were: The American Land Title Association, The South Carolina Association of Clerks of Court and Register of Deeds, The Association of Counties, The South Carolina Association of Realtors, The South Carolina Bankers Association, The Mortgage Bankers of the Carolinas, The South Carolina Bar Association, and the American Resort Developers Association on various versions of the Bill.

Jennifer said she was particularly thankful for the efforts of PLTA’s Legislative Committee led by attorney John Langford and the major contributions of her friend Julie Stutts, the deputy RMC for Aiken County.  She also appreciated the advocacy, guidance and support of lobbyists James Knox, Sharon Wilkerson, Neil Rashley, and Kali Turner and their respective groups.  Without everyone pushing this bill forward along and along, the creation of this law would not have been possible.

This new law will finally allow South Carolina real estate attorneys to fully comply with TRID regulations, provide clients and other parties with accurate final closing costs, and keep our bank accounts orderly. Please note that while the new law does not go into effect until August 1st, there is no grace period. So if you have closings on or near the first of August, please be sure to review the new statute to ensure that you’ve collected the correct amount for recording fees.

Collaboration is King!


ALTA’s CFPB webinar emphasizes that the exchange of data will be the biggest challenge to the closing process after August 1, 2015.

American Land Title Association’s value to closing attorneys grows each day as August 1, 2015 approaches. Closing forms will change dramatically later this year, and ALTA is valiantly attempting to keep those of us who plan to remain in this game ahead of the learning curve.

pawns king crown - small featheredSouth Carolina has strong representation in ALTA! Cynthia Blair, a real estate attorney in Columbia, sits on ALTA’s board and participated in this webinar. Each time Cynthia said, “In my state” we knew we were about to receive information specific to us. This local support at this critical time is invaluable, and I strongly encourage South Carolina closing attorneys to join ALTA.

Yesterday, ALTA hosted an excellent webinar entitled “5 Key Areas to Prime Your Operation for the New Closing Process”. The webinar was attended by more than 1,100 of us! The strong message was “Collaboration is King”.

Closing attorneys and lenders will work more closely together than ever to manage and share information. Some lenders have indicated they will deliver the Closing Disclosure to the borrower, but others will require the closing attorney to deliver it. The seller’s form will be prepared by the closing attorney, and a copy of it must be provided to the lender.

The underlying information for the closing documents will be located in two systems: (1) the lenders’ loan origination systems (LOS) will contain the loan-centric information; and (2) the closing attorney’s systems (sometimes referred to as the “title platform”) will contain the property-centric information. Large lenders are likely to utilize entirely electronic systems that will avoid rekeying of information to reduce the possibility of errors. The two systems will talk to each other via platforms that are now being developed.