County Recorder Office Closures

COVID-19 Update

Click here for COVID-19 guidance and information

Increasingly severe limitations on public gatherings and other measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 have disrupted essential recording services in the real estate industry. Closures of certain county recorder offices around the nation have many in the real estate industry worried that there will be issues closing their deals in the pipeline.

California takes assertive social distancing measures
Clients facing ‘force majeure’ clause issues

Whether you are closing escrow on a property sale or acquisition, lending, borrowing new debt, refinancing old debt, investing in a joint venture, conveying an easement, or signing a ground lease or another long-term commercial lease, your conveyance and security instruments must be recorded to protect your interest and/or satisfy escrow closing conditions. While some county recorder offices offer e-recording or accept documents by mail as a solution, it is not clear how long these stopgaps will remain functional and sufficiently timely to keep closings and other transactions on track.

For properties located in a county where the recorder’s office has limited its services or already shut down services entirely, we reached out to our high-level underwriter contacts at national title companies for solutions. Our contacts at Commonwealth, Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, Chicago Title, Lawyers Title, Heritage Alamo, TICOR and FATCO are standing by to help us navigate this very unpredictable time for our clients.

For clients with deals scheduled to close during this pandemic, we want you to know that you have a team available to troubleshoot your recording issues and pursue solutions to keep your deals on track. If you are in this situation and would like to explore your options, please reach out to Grace Winters.