Delaware County Recorder Issues Notice of Documents Not Timely Recorded

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Delaware County Recorder Issues Notice of Documents Not Timely Recorded

On October 26, 2018, the Delaware County Recorder issued a notice that certain documents filed with its office were not timely recorded. The notice indicates on October 19, 2018, the office located approximately 30 documents were not timely recorded. The documents were presented to the office over a period of approximately the last 3 years. The notice provides that upon the discovery the office took immediate steps to thoroughly investigate the matter and made policy changes to ensure against reoccurrence. You can review the notice itself as well as the documents and parties to the unrecorded documents by visiting the Delaware County Recorder website.

Under Ohio law, a mortgage takes effect at the time it is filed with the recorder in the county where the property is located. Ohio is a “race” recording state, which means first in time is first in priority. Conversely, conveyances (deeds) and land contracts are recorded under a “notice” recording statute. The act of recording protects the party against any claim of a subsequent purchaser for value (that claims it was not aware of the deed/land contract). For example, you buy and home and the deed transferring title from the seller to you is sent to the county recorder’s office for filing. If the deed is timely recorded, any subsequent purchaser would be on notice that you are the owner of the property. If the deed is not timely recorded, the property can be sold to the subsequent purchaser, and if the subsequent purchaser bought without any knowledge of your ownership interest, the subsequent purchaser would become the owner of the property.

To be eligible for recording, the instrument must contain the signatures of the persons signing, and if the signatures are illegible, the names must be typewritten below each signature. The instrument must be of the type that a recorder is authorized to record. A list of the instruments that can be recorded is available upon reviewing R.C. 317.08. Last, the instrument must be an original and have the name and contact information for the preparer of the instrument.

The county recorder has a statutory duty to record in the official records all instruments that are required to be recorded. However, Ohio law allows a recorder to refuse to record an instrument if it is not one authorized to be recorded or appears on its face to be materially false or fraudulent.

In reviewing the unrecorded documents provided on the Delaware County Recorder website, it appears the list includes a deed, mortgage, transfer on death affidavit, several leans, a power of attorney and several releases. The Recorder has advised that her office has made it a priority to assure the documents are promptly processed. It remains to be seen whether any property or other rights have been affected as a result of the untimely recordings.