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Law OKs Electronic Property Transaction Filings

A bill to modernize county clerk offices throughout the state by allowing electronic filing of real property transactions passed the state assembly last week and is awaiting the governor’s signature to become law.

“E-recording creates huge savings state-wide, while bringing the handling of real estate transactions into the 21st century,” said Westchester County Clerk Tim Idoni.

The legislation was originally introduced by Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli (R, C – Goldens Bridge.) The bill passed the senate earlier this year. Castelli is the assemblyman for the 89th Assembly District, which includes Pound Ridge and Lewisboro.

“This bill is another great example of what happens when people on both sides of the aisle work together for the common good,” Castelli said. “An added bonus of this legislation that is not immediately apparent is that it will help save our environment while providing economic benefit, as county clerks will no longer be mandated by the state to waste paper, and filers, who will save on postage and gas as well, as they no longer need to make trips to the county clerk’s office.”

The bill provides filers with the option of submitting real property documents, such as mortgage deeds or easements, online. According to the bill’s sponsors, it will allow county clerk offices to operate more efficiently, reduce paper usage, streamline storage and retrieval capabilities and enhance the accuracy and speed of the filing process, all of which will ultimately save taxpayer dollars.

Current law does not permit electronic filing of any real property documents, meaning individuals must hand deliver or mail these documents to their county clerk’s office for filing. The new law would give people the choice of filing online or hand-delivering documents to the clerk’s office.

The bill, which was carried in the Senate by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, is based on model legislation promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Similar laws exist in 25 states throughout the country.

“I would like to thank Westchester County Clerk Tim Idoni for his tireless advocacy for this legislation,” Senator Stewart-Cousins said. “I look forward to continuing to explore other cost-effective measures like this that will save taxpayer money and enhance services.”

Since the bill has passed both houses of the legislature, it now goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be signed into law.

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