Land Record Alert: Cott Systems
On Monday, December 26, Cott Systems Inc. (“Cott”), a national provider of County Clerk records management systems and solutions, was the victim of an organized cyber-attack, resulting in the shutdown of county records systems and/or e-recording services in New York State and elsewhere.
It is unknown when Cott will be fully operational, or when connectivity and all of their services will be restored, although we were advised that they will implement methods to enable the manual processing of transactions.
The affected counties in New York are:
The effect of the shutdown means we cannot search, exam or record in the counties noted above. Nevertheless, we are able to close and insure properties in said counties under the following general conditions:
- The transaction does not contain any other extra-hazardous risks (to be determined by Benchmark)
- The parties execute an Indemnity and Acknowledgment (form to be provided for closing)
- There are no involuntary liens
- A litigation search is performed
- Duplicate originals of all recordable instruments are provided to Benchmark
- Reports with a search/effective date exceeding 60 days will contain the following exception, which is required in all policies: “Policy excepts any matters that appear of record subsequent to the effective date of the title report.”
- All State and any local transfer taxes must be paid directly to the state/collection office. An exception for all penalties and interest resulting from the late payment may be raised in the fee policy.
- Closing instructions and title affidavits must acknowledge that recording will be delayed until further. Notice must also be provided to the lender’s attorney at closing.
While on the subject of affected counties, we are pleased to advised that Suffolk County restored e-recording services. However, as they are still working through an existing backlog, delays are expected.
As always, please contact us with any questions.
Chief Counsel & Managing Member
VP & Senior Underwriting Counsel