On August 19th Stephanie Campbell and I had the pleasure of presenting at the Court Clerk Association convention in Williamsburg. The invitation came about through the relationship VLTA has built with the Clerks Association this year. We meet quarterly, and it has been a very open and comprehensive discussion on topics as diverse as e-recordings, choice of online records vendors, and basically gaining an understanding of how the Court Clerks’ offices are funded and operate. We were so pleased that their Association values VLTA’s input enough to put us on the agenda at their convention.

The topic the Clerks’ wanted to hear from us on was, no surprise here, electronic notaries.  Kay Creasman and Jon Brodegard took the lion’s share of the work by compiling comprehensive information on electronic notaries duties and responsibilities, and included all the Code sections relevant to RON (Remote Online Notary). Once we presented the info we had on RON, and fielded numerous questions on the topic, we had the opportunity to throw out some topics we as title professionals would like clarification on. Those topics included, in no particular order:

  1.  Standardization of recording requirements for commercial documents that have more than one document type in the title. I think we all understand the problem is getting the documents indexed correctly, but we asked for uniformity in cost to record, and process for recording. Some offices record the document and index only under the first document name, others want to record the document 3 or 4 separate times (dependent on how many names are in the title) and indexing each one under a separate document type, and the way we like the least, recording 3 or 4 separate ORIGINAL documents. 
  • Guidelines for accepting Clerk’s Certified copies of an original document for recordation in another jurisdiction.
  • Uniformity or consensus on accepting documents that are notarized prior to the date on the document’s face. This again is usually an issue on commercial transactions.

At this point in the event we enjoyed a casual back and forth discussion with the Clerks and Deputy Clerks on so many different topics. 

The take-away from the experience is the need to grow and develop this new relationship with the Court Clerks Association. We each have a lot to share and learn. 

Mary Long
Mary Long joined the Stewart Title family in 1987 and currently serves as President of the local affiliate, Stewart Title and Settlement. Her many years of title experience together with prior real estate industry experiences in Foreclosure, Bankruptcy and Hazard Loss, as well as Relocation Coordination and REO properties, have allowed her to become a resource for training in the areas of underwriting, examination and settlement procedures. Mary is a board member of VLTA and will serve as President in 2022-2023.

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