If you’re a long time reader of The Mortgage Porter, you know that my pre-mortgage career was in the title and escrow industry. One of my early jobs was preparing documents to be recorded at King County. Later in my career, as a sales rep, I would sometimes have the opportunity to “be a hero” by driving “rush recordings” directly to the court house in Seattle and either meeting the title company’s recorder or actually having to “walk on” the documents myself. Recordings are the deeds and deeds of trust that will be recorded at the county to become public record to give the world notice that you now own the land or have debt attached to the property. (It also gives scammers notice to hound you with loan and other offers).
On a recent transaction, I learned that all title companies are not the same when it comes to how the manage their recordings. When a title company receives documents from the escrow company, they are typically “on hold” meaning–do not record yet; or they’re a “walk on” which means, record as soon as possible. It’s my understanding that most title companies keep holds at King County UNLESS they have verified with the escrow company that the documents are not scheduled to close for some time.
This transaction involved a title company who apparently keeps recordings for King County at their Lynnwood office until they know they are released for recording and then they are sent with their recording courier. Problems can arise when recordings are released later by escrow or if the courier faces high volumes of traffic with her commute to Seattle (what are the odds of that?). I have been informed by their Senior Title Officer that they are changing their policy on keeping holds at their office.
It could be worth asking your preferred King County title provider:
Where do they keep recordings that are on hold?
Will they do a special courier to the court house if needed? (a title rep can do this)
Hopefully the recordings are kept at King County (or the appropriate county) so that in the event of a later release, the documents are prepared and ready to go to avoid delays with closings.