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Cornelius News

Meck Deeds meets COVID crisis head-on, on-line

March 20. By Dave Yochum. In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Mecklenburg Register of Deeds office is scaling back in-person services.

The ROD office will be closed to in person services but will have all office functions available to residents and law offices online.

Online services remain available, including:

Record research
Historical Land Records
Birth or Death Records
Marriage Certificate Records

Roughly half the documents that are processed in MecklenburgCounty are electronically recorded—meaning the real estate attorney never comes into the Register of Deeds’ office.

“So long as the Register of Deeds e-Recording department remains open, Real Estate transactions can continue,” said Birkdale-based real estate attorney Justin Ckezepis.

During the state of emergency, virtually all documents are being electronically recorded.

Ckezepis Law only works in counties that allow for e-Recording real estate documents. Of course, Mecklenburg County does that. How long that can happen is anybody’s guess with the COVID-19 crisis still unfolding.

Deeds and Deeds of Trust are required to be Notarized, which, in North Carolina, requires “physical proximity.”

Justin Ckezepis

“You have to be face to face to the Notary that is Notarizing the Real Estate document,” Ckezepis said.

Banks, which most often have Notary Publics on staff, are starting to shut down lobbies.

Beginning Saturday, March 21, most BB&T/Truist bank branches will offer modified service including ATMs, drive-thru lanes and in-branch consultation by appointment.

“We also encourage you to bank with us from the comfort of your home using our online, mobile and telephone banking options,” BB&T/Truist says.

Branches that offer in-branch consultations will incorporate controlled access protocols for lobbies to continue to serve clients in a safe and secure manner.

Some branches without drive-thru lanes will remain open with regular enhanced cleaning and sanitization procedures. The Cornelius branch does have drive-through.

Closings are still happening but the big spring bump in listings and sales isn’t going to happen. Showings have ground to a halt.

Nevertheless, there are still buyers who need to buy, and sellers who need to sell, said Pat Riley, CEO of Allen Tate.  Leases may be up or “they just want to take advantage of today’s low interest rates to make their homeownership dreams come true.”

Pat Riley

Riley said pre-listing appointments and signings can be done on-line. “We can also do some things later if we need to,” Riley said.