Victoria County OKs online real estate document system

  • MORE ACTION

  • • Decrease WIC funding by $36,273, or 8.6 percent, over the previous fiscal year;

    •  Met in closed session to discuss the Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace opening.

Title companies, mortgage bankers and law offices soon can take advantage of Victoria County's online real estate records.

The Commissioners Court approved the $42,640 contract with Manatron Inc., a Thompson Reuters business.

County Clerk Robert Cortez said the project will come in three phases. The software first automatically redacts Social Security and drivers license numbers from records, then makes those records available online, and finally allows online document filing.

"It's a benefit not only to county government in processing, cost savings, saving paper, time cashiering and touching documents," Cortez said. "For our end users ... it's a cost-savings for them as well in staffing, travel and time spent in our office or on money for couriers."

He said it also comes with a "green aspect," in that it reduces paper consumption, ink and even gasoline used while driving to and from the courthouse.

Cortez's office recently entered an agreement to make criminal, civil and probate records available online through iDocket. He said Monday's vote carried on the county's mission to embrace new technology.

Commissioner Gary Burns said he expects the contract to play a role in increasing revenues for the county.

"It will make it a heck of a lot easier for the people down there (in the clerk's office)," Burns said. "The traffic is increasing, and Robert is really good at being a step ahead of that."

John Rickerby, of Manatron Inc., said the county has been clients since 1998.

The update will assist with records management, he said.

"Title companies embrace this," Rickerby said.

Even the fees being charged by third-party vendors for collecting and delivering the records are less expensive than putting someone in the car to file in person, he said.

Cortez said Manatron's service has a high probability of increasing revenue for the county.

Rickerby agreed.

"It's a gradual growth process, but it has a big impact," Rickerby said. "Counties that have been doing this since 2004 are running half their business through it."