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    County recorders’ offices across Ohio are limiting hours/closing to the public

    Across Ohio, county recorders’ offices are announcing limited hours or complete office closures. Although staff will continue processing documents for recordation, the recordation process and methods for submission of payments vary by county. In some locations, drop boxes will be available for documents that are to be recorded. Others are recommending online, fax or mailed packages. It is advisable to check-in with each county on a regular basis to stay current on the most recent developments.

    As a result of these closures and the implementation of new recording procedures, we anticipate delays in the recordation of documents and a longer than normal gap period between execution and recordation. It is our understanding that some title companies are comfortable recording mortgages under the current situation.  As for transactions with deed transfers, it is our understanding that title companies are still evaluating the procedures.

    As to the impact on title examinations, certain title reports may require an in-person examination of public documents where no online access is available. In these situations, in which the recorder’s office is closed to the public, the title examination could be delayed indefinitely. 

    Based on the foregoing, be mindful of the impact that the office closure will have on your transaction. We recommend early and frequent communication with title insurers regarding any potential issues for real estate closings scheduled in the coming weeks. We are also recommending that at least two original, signed copies of the documents to be recorded are prepared at closing, out of an abundance of caution. A duplicate set of original documents might be necessary if the first package is lost or misplaced at some stage of the process. 

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