More than a decade ago, in the aftermath of the financial market meltdown, there was a flurry of short-sale, foreclosure and bankruptcy activity.
As such, there were a ton of legal documents getting signed or not being signed, then subsequently filed or stored somewhere for safe keeping. Since record-keeping technology at that time was allegedly sophisticated, all should have been good.
However, here we are 10 years later, still struggling as an industry to maintain and retrieve records in a fast and accurate manner.
We are even having issues obtaining records from only a few years ago, let alone a decade ago.
OK, I get it, this is 2020 and we are in a pandemic. But this doesn’t mean that a homeowner should wait for weeks or months to obtain records from a past or currently owned home if the data has been electronically filed and stored.
Then again, waiting for information these days and expecting it to be correct can be extremely frustrating.
What I’m specifically referring to here is something called a reconveyance.
According to LegalZoom, a company founded during the dot-com days, “when a mortgage is paid off, the lender should record a full reconveyance of the deed of trust with the local recorder of deeds or land registry office, stating that the debt has been satisfied and that the property no longer has a lien on it.”
This document is commonly referred to as a “substitution of trustee and full reconveyance,” which identifies the person who has the authority to reconvey the property and remove the lien.
That sounds complicated. Basically, if this process doesn’t take place or documents get misplaced or banks or loan servicing companies go out of business, then it becomes super challenging to track down the right information.
Unfortunately, this gets amplified much further if there was, let’s say, a bankruptcy petition filed and ultimately if a bankruptcy case gets closed without having this reconveyance step completed as well.
If technology is so superior today, then why can’t we seem to figure this out?
Why does it take an insane amount of time to unravel this type of documentation paper trail?
I also don’t understand why we can’t ever seem to get accurate employment reporting data each month or clear COVID-19 metrics either.
Our technology is incredibly advanced; this shouldn’t happen. If Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet, TikTok and Facebook are getting grilled for apparently being data technology monopolies, that would lead you to believe that they have some awfully scary advanced technology, right?
Therefore, getting a simple reconveyance paper trail out of a lending institution should be easy, kindergarten-level stuff because these banking companies invest and purchase in the same technology that’s being developed and sold by the Big Five.
Who knows? Things work in strange ways as it has taken me forever to get a simple building permit on my house.
For now, I’m trying my best to take some deep breaths and chew lots of gum. Damn bubbles.
Watch now: Napa chamber creates community assist campaign:
Chris Salese can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-363-4439. He is a licensed California mortgage lender (LO NMLS #254469 — CA-DBO #254469 Corp NMLS #1850 Equal Housing Opportunity.