How can I help a homeowner correct public records data discrepancies?

On occasion you may encounter discrepancies in public records data in RPR. Public records errors could include displaying outdated mortgage information, incorrect tax assessment data or the wrong number of bedrooms for the property, among other things. These discrepancies may impact the Estimated Home Value shown for the property. 

When data discrepancies surface in county-sourced public records data, they can be changed on RPR if the property owner first corrects the facts with the source of the public records data. (Other kinds of public data also can be an issue. Examples include flood zones, schools information and property boundaries. We’ll come back to these data types later in this article.)

First, it’s important to understand which data on RPR comes from public records, and which data is sourced from the MLS. The public records data found in RPR includes a property’s legal description, assessed tax and market values, tax information, owner information, and other characteristics of the property. Additionally, RPR provides access to up to 10 years of publicly recorded deed and mortgage history, and pre-foreclosure and foreclosure filings (in some states). Issues with public records property data fall into three categories:

  • Missing data  — corrected via our data partner
  • Outdated data  — corrected via the county
  • Erroneous data  — corrected via the property owner

Be aware that RPR does not yet have full nationwide coverage for public records data. RPR’s public records data covers more than 92% of the country’s population, and has a footprint covering more than 3,000 U.S. counties. Coverage varies by data type (assessment, deed, mortgage and foreclosure). If you notice that a property is missing public records data, you may want to check surrounding properties to see if the problem is lack of coverage for that type of public records data in that area. RPR’s Customer Support Center (877-977-7576) can tell you what coverage we have in your area.

In other cases, the problem could be outdated public records data. Tax assessment data is typically updated by public records sources on an annual basis. Deed, mortgage and foreclosure data are updated more frequently, as the data are made publicly available. The frequency of the data updates depends on each county providing the information. Some counties work quickly, releasing data a few weeks after the data are recorded in the county office. Smaller and more rural counties may take up to two months to make such data public.

Once the new data is released by a county, it is collected by Black Knight Financial Services (BKFS), RPR’s partner for public records data. Updated data is delivered and integrated with the RPR system.

Despite the best efforts of RPR, BKFS and the counties, in some cases we display erroneous public records data. The data may have been wrong with the county for a long time, but surfacing it in an RPR report viewed by the homeowner brings it to light.

We value having accurate and current data on the RPR website. Because we receive our data from counties via BKFS, we need corrections to be made at the source—the county or township with the inaccurate information. We understand that you and your client want these important corrections to be made efficiently and effectively, so we encourage property owners to contact their county to adjust these records. (Because our records are frequently updated, any changes to a property made in our site would be overwritten by subsequent data feeds of public records, and the data would display incorrectly again.)

If your client needs help making corrections at the source, we suggest starting with an online search to see what data the county has for the property. This website is a good starting point: http://publicrecords.netronline.com/. This public records online directory is a portal to official state websites and tax assessors' and recorders' offices with websites for the retrieval of available public records over the Internet. You can search to see what is available for your county.

Then, the owner may need to reach out to the county to make corrections. For deed records, the owner will need to locate the county’s register of deeds or assessor’s office. These offices have a variety of names: Register of Deeds, Deed Recording, Document Recording or others. The office will handle changes to documents recorded at the county like sales, mortgages and foreclosure documentation. For tax and assessment data changes, the owner may need to locate the office that handles property tax and assessments, which could be a different part of the county infrastructure. Sometimes the county data comes from local municipalities like townships. In that case, the source data correction might need to be handled with the Township Assessor.

Generally, the property owner is the only person who can make a change, with the exception of a typo or obvious data correction.

Once a correction is made, please allow some time for the update to be reflected in RPR. Please see the timelines for public records data updates referenced earlier in this article.

Many other types of public records data are included in RPR. These data types also must be updated with the source to ensure a permanent correction on RPR. Examples, with guidance about how to update data where feasible, include:

To learn more about where RPR obtains public records data, please also view this article: http://support.narrpr.com/entries/181587-where-does-rpr-get-the-data-for-the-property-pages



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Comments

  • Avatar
    Lyndwyer

    What do I do when the public records are correct but the RPR data is wrong?

  • Avatar
    Janine Sieja - Product Mgt

    We can investigate the property when our data appears wrong but the public records are correct. Have you entered a ticket for this property with our Help Desk? If not, you can call 877-977-7576 or follow the "Log a bug" link from the website. You'll see it on any property or search page. We will be happy to look into this to see if we can determine the cause.



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