Bill to Allow E-Filing of Real Property Documents Passes Senate

Sponsored By Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Improves Government Efficiency; Saves Taxpayer Dollars

(Albany)- The New York State Senate unamimously passed legislation on March 22, sponsored by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District- D/WF/I), which would modernize County Clerk offices throughout the State by allowing real property transactions to be filed electronically. Supported by the New York State Association of County Clerks, the bill (S. 2373) would provide filers with the convenient option of submitting real property documents, such as mortgage deeds or easements, online. This would allow County Clerk 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.

“Not only is the e-recording option a common sense way to improve government efficiency throughout the State, it also makes the process much more convenient for filers,” said Senator Stewart-Cousins. “It allows County Clerks to provide better service with fewer resources, relieving them from much of the work and equipment needed to process these documents. And it makes the procedure easier for filers, saving them from postage or making an unnecessary trip to the County Clerk’s office.”

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. Under Senator Stewart-Cousins’ legislation, the e-recording option is voluntary, meaning filers would still be able to submit documents by mail or hand-delivery if they choose not to do so online.

In a statement, Westchester County Clerk Tim Idoni commented: “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. “We thank Senator Stewart –Cousins for her leadership on this important, beneficial legislation.”

Senator Stewart-Cousins’ bill 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 added. “I look forward to continuing to explore other cost-effective measures like this that will save taxpayer money and enhance services.”

The bill is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman George Latimer and Co-Sponsored by Assemblyman Robert Castelli. It must now pass the Assembly and receive Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature in order to become law.