I love techno advances that save time and make life easier. I am not a fan of technology that complicates things. The Cook County Recorder’s office new e-recording system for deeds and mortgages is in the second category.
In the past, recording a deed meant driving to the recorder’s office standing in line and recording the document in person.
Many states now allow e-recording, which means you can record a document online from your computer. There is a great software program called Simplifile that helps to do this. It’s a wonder , super-easy to use and makes it really easy to record deeds online.
Cook County uses Simplifile, but Cook stacks a bunch of requirements on e-recording that make it really hard, almost impossible, to record a deed electronically. My office records a lot of deeds, mostly deeds to living trusts. These are called “exempt” deeds, meaning that no transfer tax is paid because there is no sales price paid.
To record an exempt deed, first Cook requires you to fill out a complete MyDec form for an exempt deed. This is not required if you show up at the recorder’s office to record an exempt deed. It takes about 15-20 minutes to fill out a MyDec form online. Why would I do that when I can record the exempt deed in person without filling it out?
Second, Cook County requires that you be reqistered as a title company with MyDec, which requires filling out a bunch of forms that have to be approved by the county.
So, while I can e-record deeds very easily in most counties in the country I can’t record a deed in the county where I live.