The Guilford County Register of Deeds Office still sees a boatload of paper on a regular basis, however, this week, Guilford County Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen noted in his annual year-end report on the deeds office that, now, 70 percent of land records being filed in the county are being filed electronically – rather than through the centuries-old paper process.
Thigpen said the Register of Deeds office is working hard to educate users on e-filing and its advantages. He said this is a major benefit all around in terms of time, cost and trouble because electronic filing allows for documents to get on record “quickly and efficiently” and because any mistakes made are easier to address.
Thigpen said that area law firms, attorneys and others who handle closings, or deeds in other capacities, are becoming more familiar with the process and are learning to love it.
“We targeted a number of firms a few years ago,” he said, adding that in recent years his office looked at filers who weren’t using e-filing and worked with them to encourage the change.
For example, he said, one law firm was filing over 1,000 documents every year using the paper process and deeds workers taught that firm how to file electronically.
“Those would all be done in the office using paralegals who’d come in and out,” he said of the prior method. “They finally started e-filing and saved a lot of time, motion and money.”
Thigpen said his office and its software provider have worked with the vendors of private e-filing software services to make sure the county’s software is compatible with the vast majority of the software out there.
Thigpen, a Democrat, is running for reelection in 2020 and he will face Abdul Rashid Siddiqui, a Republican from High Point who filed to run for the Guilford County Register of Deeds this week.