Superior Court expands e-filing options
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Coweta County's Superior Court Clerk's office has expanded the type of paperwork that can be electronically filed.
The off ice has been accepting e-recording of child support paperwork for a while, and 'UCCs' for a few years. The newest entry into e-filing is mortgage cancellations - that is, the documentation that a mortgage has been paid off.
UCCs are small loans, and the filings don't require original signatures. 'We've done 10,000 of those already this year,' said Coweta Superior Court Clerk Cindy Brown.
The mortgage cancellations are the newest e-filing option. All real estate records used to require original signatures for filing, Brown said. 'But the law has been changed so that we can do the e-filing.'
Some of the larger mortgage companies are 'pushing for the e-filing,' Brown said. 'It makes it more convenient for them.'
'We're getting our feet wet with e-filing,' she said. 'I just want to take it slow and make sure everything is done properly.' For most people, their home is their biggest investment. 'We want to make sure everything is done properly and by law.'
'I don't want to upset the apple cart too much, you know? We need to take it slow.'
The Coweta County Superior Court was one of the first in the state to begin accepting e-filing of UCCs. And when it did, Brown discovered that the documents can be filed at any court in the state, regardless of where the loan originated or where the collateral is.
'So we were taking UCCs that would have probably been filed in Butts County,' for instance, Brown said, 'but since we could e-file, they chose to e-file with us.'
'That was generating more money for the county,' she said.
Brown certainly wants to build the e-filing options.
'Our software vendor is going to give us a new application in real estate, for us to be able to e-file all deeds,' she said. 'We're looking at it in the near future, I'm sure.'
The e-filing must be done through one of the court's approved vendors, and any charges for the service are paid by the filer to the vendor.
Using e-filing 'makes it easier for the filing office. It's a convenience to them,' Brown said. On her end, 'it's basically the same steps as getting it in the mail for us.'
Brown's office is still printing deed books, though 'a lot of clerk's offices are choosing not to,' she said.
She has plenty of room at the Justice Center to hold more of them, 'so as long as I have room, I see no reason to stop printing,' she said. 'I feel like it's in the public's best interest … a lot of people still like to search the books rather than the computer,' she said.
'We just try to keep up with technology, and move forward as best we can with the technology that we are provided,' Brown said. The clerk's office gets most of its computers and other technology equipment from the Georgia Clerks Authority.
'So they make it affordable for us to continue to grow with technology.'