Occasionally a notice comes to us from one of our affiliated partners in the real estate industry that offers news that is important enough that it needs to be shared. Just such a letter arrived in our email baskets on the last day of September 2020.

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The letter as reprinted below is from Jon Scherer, the Recording Manager at the King County Recorder’s Office. The letter was sent to all the title companies in the area and First American Title – the title company that we have been using for years – forwarded this letter to us. We share it below:

Good Morning Everyone,

As you know we are experiencing a level of workload for recording that has not been seen for almost 20 years. 4,000+ document days are now becoming commonplace when they were unheard of. Our backlog of physical documents submitted for recording is now more than a month’s worth of submissions. This increasing workload and the continuing difficulties due to the Covid-19 response have overwhelmed our capacity to complete our daily work in a timely fashion.

Going forward the Recorder’s Office will suspend its guarantee of same day service for submissions received prior to 3:30pm. Our operations will officially end at 5pm each day. Staff will be allowed to work overtime in a voluntary capacity after 5pm, but will no longer be required to do so. Any work not completed by the end of operations or by staff volunteering for overtime will be at the front of the queue the next day.

Also, we will no longer be taking requests for rejects for documents from the queue. We did this for a long time as an accommodation, but the requests are now far too frequent (more than twenty a day) and a distraction that we cannot afford to continue.

I realize these changes will create some uncertainty in your operations, but we simply don’t have the capacity to continue with business as usual. Once the workload changes or circumstances return to something closer to normal, we may choose to resume operations as they were. We are working on bringing more staff on board, but the onboarding and training process is such that we will not feel the relief from that effort for several months.

Thank you for your patience as we do our best to serve the public in these difficult times.

Jon Scherer
Recording Manager
King County Recorder’s Office
500 4th Ave, Rm 430
Seattle, WA 98104

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

This means that no matter what time a transaction is submitted during the day, there is a possibility that King County will not issue recording numbers until the next day or days after.

WHAT IS FIRST AMERICAN TITLE DOING TO HELP?

First American has “Gap” insurance and has implemented protocols which will allow them to ensure transactions upon being released to record in instances where the County is unable to issue recording numbers based on delays.

Title for all our listings is through First American Title, so for our listing customers, there is little or no impact by this change at the King County Recorder’s office. The industry does continue to change however and we want to keep you abreast of these changes as they come to us.