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Title News - November/December, 2006

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November/December, 2006 - Volume 85 Number 6

Inside ALTA®
Tired of Those Recording Rejections?

by Ardis Schmitt

You Can be Part of the Solution! It is the industry that binds us…it is the partnership that unites us. What would happen if we all worked together to address industry-related issues?

Will those important documents get recorded, or will they be rejected because a certain requirement was missed? Was the recording fee calculated correctly? Have there been legislative changes? Why is it so hard to get documents recorded in a timely manner? So what’s all this about privacy issues and redaction of information? How in the world are you supposed to keep up with everything and avoid those miserable rejections? PREP is the answer!

What is PREP?
PREP is the Property Records Education Partners, a designated work group of PRIA, the Property Records Industry Association.
A couple of years ago, supported by surveys and studies, industry leaders began to recognize there was an urgent need to improve communication between sectors at the local level. Technological changes were making good communication between local sectors even more important. To address these concerns, an alliance was formed between the title industry (ALTA®), escrow agents (AEA), and county recorders (IACREOT and NACRC). PREP was subsequently created and designated a work group under the Property Records Industry Association. PREP provides the structured forum for industry members to communicate and network through geographically centered local groups called PREP chapters.

What is PREP’s Charge?

  • To improve working relationships between industry partners at the local level
  • To open and enhance lines of communication
  • To create networking channels
  • To expand educational opportunities

Why Do We Need PREP Chapters?
Title, escrow, financial services, and recording industries work for the public to consummate real estate transactions. Serving constructive notice through proper and timely recordation is paramount to a free and open society. In today’s changing marketplace, industry stakeholders must work together to ensure quality representation for the homebuying public.

Who Should Participate?
All members of your local property records industry should be participating in a PREP chapter. When local industry participants have the opportunity to learn more about each sector’s requirements and processes, each participant’s work can be accomplished more efficiently and in a cost-effective manner. When industry members communicate on a face-to-face basis through a PREP chapter, information is shared, questions are asked, solutions are found to problems…and we all become partners in the process instead of adversaries.

Are Any Chapters in Operation Now?
Absolutely, and they are very successful! PREP chapters have been organized in many states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Texas. Many other states have PREP chapters “under construction.” See the end of this article for some testimonials from PREP chapters.

How are PREP Chapters Organized?
PREP Operating Rules include the following provisions:

  • Local PREP chapters are organized under the national PREP work, group structure.
  • Each chapter determines its own meeting schedule and frequency, setting its own agendas.
  • Each chapter elects cochairs, one from the private sector and one from the public.
  • There are no membership dues, but chapters may charge fees to recover costs for expenses incurred, such as meals.
  • A PREP chapter should include at least one PRIA member from the private sector and one from the public sector.
  • PRIA will provide and maintain a Web page for each local PREP chapter.
  • Chapters are to provide the PREP national coordinator with meeting agendas, minutes, and participant lists for posting on the Web site.

How do I Start a Chapter?
It’s not hard! The PREP national coordinator will assist you in organizing a PREP chapter, and provide ongoing support. We understand the press of day-to-day business versus the enthusiasm for this new project, but we’re here to help you. Getting the first meeting organized may seem like the tough part, but it’s really just a matter of setting the place, date, and time…then sending out the invitations! Remember, all sectors of the industry are included. Samples of invitational letters and handouts for your meeting will be provided, as well as a PREP PowerPoint presentation. Speakers are also available.

So What are You Waiting For?

  • Solve problems and improve local property records processes by participating in a local PREP chapter.
  • Encourage other local industry partners to join in the PREP effort.
  • If a PREP chapter has not been organized in your area, get one started!
  • Visit the PREP Web pages at…see what’s happening in PREP chapters throughout the nation.
Don’t miss this opportunity to make a real difference . . . be part of the solution…be a PREP Star!

Ardis Schmitt is the national coordinator for PREP. She can be reached at or by phone at 719-550-1708.

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Washington, D.C. 20036-5828
P. 202.296.3671 F. 202.223.5843
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