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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 10, 2021 02:00 PM
From: Senator Robert M. Tomlinson
To: All Senate members
Subject: Predictable Recorder of Deed Fees
In the near future I will be re-introducing legislation (SB1244 of last session) that will make predictable the cost of recording documents charged by Recorders of Deeds located in counties of the Second A, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth classes. This legislation would be similar to laws passed in 19 other states and recognizes the need to reduce uncertainty and delay in the recording process.

The current method for calculating the cost of recording is dependent on page count, number of names, number of parcels and number of marginal document references. This method is now incompatible with a legal rule issued by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which regulates residential mortgage transactions. This rule mandates that recording costs be accurately disclosed in advance of settlement and, most importantly, before the document to be recorded is in final form.

In 2016, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) conducted a review of the fees collected by Recorders of Deeds. Its findings included (1) “Fees charged by County Recorders of Deeds are difficult to predict because they can vary based on factors such as the number of pages and the number of names that need to be indexed” and (2) “Many states are moving toward predictable recording fees to avoid delays and penalties at settlement.”

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this commonsense legislation which will benefit consumers, lenders, businesses, attorneys and others who record documents in the Commonwealth.

Introduced as SB898