Storage Solutions Archives

To Shred or Not to Shred? Alabama Real Estate Records Retention

We continue with our blog series on Real Estate Records Retention, this time focusing on the Yellowhammer state.  Chapter 27 of the Code of Alabama establishes creation of a Real Estate Commission, and stipulates the rules and regulations governing Real Estate Brokers and related transactions in the Heart of Dixie.  Therein, the Records Disposition Authority, Section 3, states that Real Property Files and Inventory Lists are deemed Permanent Records; this means they cannot be destroyed.  It also states that these permanent records are to be retained in office, “in an environment that will ensure their physical order and preservation”.

With the lines between different financial institutions blurring more each year, the Alabama Department of Banking has also addressed records retention for real estate transactions.  They require  loan files, as well as real estate owned and repossessed assets files (including supporting documentation and records)  be retained for life plus three years. Ouch!  The Better Business Bureau of North Alabama has come to the rescue and compiled a “when to shred” list which business owners as well as consumers should keep handy.   According to the BBB, contracts, mortgages, notes, and deeds still in effect should be kept permanently, i.e. Do Not Shred!, while those that have expired, can be shredded after seven years.

Life plus three years is definitely a long time to keep any document, much less keep it in good condition.   Companies sometimes change their physical address.  Often older records are boxed and sent to storage warehouses where conditions are not prime.   The good news is that you can easily back-up and access your files online using today’s technology at a fraction of the cost.  When it comes to record retention strategies for regulated industries, like Real Estate, Filetwin can be your best ally.  Call us today and speak to one of our back-up specialists at 877-310-2884.

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Foreclosure Records Handy? State of Virginia

In these times of Foreclosure Frenzy, don’t be caught off guard without the ability to access your past real estate and mortgage transactions.   We are focusing today on Virginia, a state close to the nation’s capitol where the Financial crisis is being addressed.  Real Estate transactions in Virginia are governed by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations, which has created a Real Estate Board for this purpose.   In the Commonwealth of Virginia, a Real Estate Broker must maintain records of all transactions in his/her office  for at least three years .  These records, according to the Virginia State Legislature, may be in electronic format.  However, Real Estate Appraisers in the Old Dominion state are subject to more stringent requirements, and must keep all records for at least five years after preparation, and another two years after final disposition.  For more details you can call the Virginia Real Estate Board at (804) 367-8526 or email them at Board for Real Estate.

Three to seven years is a long time to keep paper files of transactions, or disks of data that may not be appropriately labeled.  With all the foreclosed homes coming to market, it’s important to have a history of those properties in your database, in the event of any future investigation by banks, mortgage companies or government agencies.  Electronic data back-up is the safest and most reliable way to keep important date for later online access.   Online data back-up and access systems like Filetwin, are highly recommended for regulated industries like Real Estate.  Call us today and speak to one of our back-up specialists at 877-310.2884.  Filetwin, because you need two.

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Today, we focus our real estate broker record-keeping research on the State of Utah. Brokers in Utah are required to maintain records for at least three (3) years according to http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/code/r162/r162-02f.htm#E20.

Often these regulations require the broker to keep files at their place of business or have other minor stipulations in regards to storing their records. Filetwin allows you to satisfy the intent of the regulations because your digital assets are backed up on our servers and accessible online through your office computer. Keep in mind that we backup broker dealers regulated through the SEC and they are required to maintain digital records for six (6) years so if you just have half the length to worry about, then Filetwin will server you well.

We created a video to help people understand the flaws with traditional storage media like a hard drive or CD-DVD. Click on this link to check out our video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M43reV3ZqJw.

Hopefully, if you’re a broker in Utah, we’ve answered your questions. If you’d like to ask us more questions, you can submit a comment on this blog or call us directly at 1 877 310-2884 and one of our U.S. based Backup Specialists will be pleased to continue this conversation.

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