- January 21, 2009
- All Wisconsin Issuing Offices
- Priority of Document Recording
The recording order of documents is critical to establishing priority in Wisconsin.
Documents arrive at most Register of Deeds offices in four different ways: First, many title companies, banks and law firms deliver large batches of documents via courier or employee to the Register of Deeds daily at random times; Second, documents are delivered by US Mail or private delivery service (FedEx, UPS, etc.) daily at random times; Third, for those counties that accept eRecordings, documents are submitted over the internet through a eRecording vendor daily at random times; and Fourth, persons deliver documents directly to the Register of Deeds counter window at random times throughout the day. The Register of Deeds Offices are required by Wis. Stats. §59.43(1)(e) to record these documents in the exact date and time order in which they are received.
In most Register of Deeds offices, the documents that are delivered personally to the counter window are recorded immediately. The concern is that this practice places these documents of record ahead of documents delivered by other methods that may have been physically received by the ROD's office at an earlier time, contrary to the statutory mandate. Thus, where swift recording of a document is critical to the closing of a transaction, or is needed to shorten up a recording gap, it has been the practice of many customers, agents and branches to physically take the document to the county recorder's office and have the document immediately recorded.
Effective February 2, 2009, this practice will no longer be available for documents to be recorded in Milwaukee County. Documents received by the other three methods will be given an actual date and time of receipt, and will then be recorded in order of the receipt date and time. The Milwaukee County ROD will, however, continue to review documents at the counter for "recordability" if delivered by John Q. Citizen. This service will not be available for documents delivered by a title company.
To complicate matters further, in Milwaukee County it takes several days after recording to be able to pick up the recording information (i.e. date and time of recording and document number) and about 3-4 weeks to be able to obtain a copy of the document with its recording stamp affixed.
If knowledge of the recording information is critical to your transaction, or if you need a copy of the recorded document immediately, the only way to meet this requirement is to eRecord the documents. eRecorded documents typically have recording information and a copy available within 24-48 hours of submission.
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