September 15, 2009
AB 985 (De La Torre) was amended on the Senate floor to reduce the fee county recorders could charge per recorded document to pay for the program before it passed out of the Legislature late last week. The bill is slated to go before the Governor between now and early October.
The bill allows third parties who are not the property owner to record a Restrictive Covenant Modification (RCM). A requester is required to provide a return address so the recorder can notify the requester of the action taken. AB 985 also adds a new provision to the law requiring a county recorder, title insurance company, escrow company, real estate broker, real estate agent or association that provides a copy of a declaration, governing document or deed directly to any person holding an ownership interest of record to provide them with a RCM form along with “procedural information” of how to locate potentially unlawful restrictive covenants and how to submit the RCM form. AB 985 contains statutory language that is permissive to be used for the description.
County recorders would maintain a dual system of records under AB 985 made up of “official records” which contain the original recorded documents containing the unlawful restrictions and “public records” which are in an electronic format and is an exact copy of the official record except that it would contain copies of records with unlawful restrictive covenants redacted and records with truncated social security numbers.