OP-ED: What does the Recorder of Deeds Office really do?
I sometimes hear people say “all the Recorder of Deeds Office does is record deeds.” It’s a common misconception about all the work performed in this important office. It is true in 2018 the office recorded over 12,000 deeds and over 41,000 other documents as required by real estate statutes. Those other documents included mortgages, assignments, satisfaction pieces, stormwater easements, land plans and powers of attorney.
Beyond recording documents, we started a Hometown Heroes program in 2012. This provides discounts to veterans who have brought their discharge papers to the recorder’s office to be recorded. The veteran receives an identification card and a list of merchants who participate in the program. A current list can be attained online at the county website.
Once processed, the office has the privilege of storing DD-214 Military Honorable Discharge papers for our veterans. York County is proud of our veterans who served and are serving our country. For security reasons, these documents are not public record.
Hometown Heroes is always looking for more merchants to give back to our veterans through discounts. If your business is interested, please contact our office by calling 717-771-9608 or visit the recorder’s Contact Us tab on the county website.
The Recorder of Deeds office provides a large portion of the county’s budget each year. In 2018, the office contributed over $1.8 million to the general fund and over $133,000 to the Blight Demolition Fund approved last year by the county commissioners. With restructuring of office staff and procedures, the 2019 budget for the recorders office was reduced by 12.5 percent from 2018.
Even recording documents is not as simple as it may seem. Not only do customers bring documents to the counter, but documents also arrive daily by mail and through e-recording. E-recording already accounts for nearly two-thirds of documents to be processed.
After a document is recorded, it is verified for accuracy then mailed back to the customer. Our staff’s teamwork now has the turn-around time reduced to one week or less.
Public documents can be researched in our office at 28 E. Market St., York, PA 17401 at no charge using Landex software on our public terminals. Users may also have online access to the same information from their home or office by going to www.landex.com/webstore. There is a fee charged for remote use of Landex.
I invite you to visit our office and see what the recorder of deeds office really does besides record deeds.