Alabama’s Houston County judge outlines eRecording benefits
Once upon a time, Alabama’s Houston County real estate transactions were largely conducted in the county seat of Dothan. As in other parts of the country, attorneys sent land documents via couriers or U.S. Mail to the probate court. Then the court returned those paper documents.
Houston County’s land records processing began to change nearly 20 years ago, when the county adopted Syscon’s system for electronically hosting and managing land records. By the time Houston County Probate Court Judge Patrick Davenport came into office in 2012, his court was part of a Syscon pilot program to not only digitize and store records, but receive those records electronically.
Five years later, law offices across the State and country can file Houston County land records almost instantaneously, benefitting both county taxpayers and everyone involved in area land transactions.
“With the transitory nature of society, people are doing business all over the State, not to mention all over the nation,” said Davenport. “Syscon’s eRecording function allows someone who is transacting business to record their land record documents wherever they’re located. Lawyers from Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile regularly file through that system, as opposed to having a runner drive it to us or put it in the mail.”
Electronic filing is less expensive for clients than courier services, Davenport said. The judge also considers electronic filing more convenient and reliable than other delivery methods.
“Our number one priority is to serve the public. This gives individuals greater flexibility in being able to transact their business over the weekend or at night. With Syscon’s eRecording, they can file their documents electronically and have them filed almost instantaneously.”
Electronic recording enhances document security. In the past, mis-directed mail might go undetected for days or weeks.
“There are also benefits to our taxpayers,” said Davenport. “This is a better-organized, timely process that doesn’t require someone to be in front of a clerk to have their documents processed. And since returning documents is a very labor-intensive process, Syscon’s eRecording helps us provide more efficient, effective customer service.”
The judge said Houston County has benefitted from its long-term relationship with Syscon.
“I would recommend Syscon services to other courts. They have reliable products and an excellent staff that’s responsive and efficient. They have served Houston County well.”