Paperless Title System Saves Insurance Agency Space
Cortes & Hay, Inc. specializes in residential, commercial, and industrial title insurance. The documents that comprise a title insurance binder come from documents generated internally and documents from external sources. The company uses WinTitle, a software program specific to the title insurance industry. WinTitle files must be printed and combined with external hard copy files generated from deed copies, mortgage copies, and easement copies to make a complete binder. The final package ranges from one to seven inches thick. Cortes & Hay produces 120 to 180 packages per month. Given the recent frenzy to take advantage of low interest rates, the company can produce more than 2,000 packages per year.
For 30 years, the company stored files in filing cabinets in the 1,500 sq. ft. basement of its original office. As the business grew, so did its mountain of paper. The basement was transformed into rows of filing cabinets. During that period, the company not only needed to keep those files, but also needed to have access to the information contained in them.
“Keeping all that paper can be critical for many reasons,” says Michele Newhouse, VP of operations for Cortes & Hay. “We have to keep everything for seven years, but it can be a great benefit to keep everything forever. We often have to search back through 60 years of clear title. If we save the back titles, we can search in a couple of hours what might have taken two weeks. We’ve accumulated a lot of back titles. Whenever we do a search, there is no point in throwing out what we learn.”
Cortes & Hay hired Pathfinder Consulting Group, LLC to host its Web site and serve as IT consultants. After extensive research, Pathfinder recommended Computhink’s ViewWise as the central software application of the paperless office. According to Newhouse, “We knew we wanted to go paperless but, once we went paperless, we didn’t want to have to figure out where everything was. We needed everyone to be able to make queries from their desktops to find any file. Before ViewWise, if a file was stored off-site, you might not be able to get it until later in the day. Now, everything is at our fingertips.” As the backfile is converted to ViewWise, Cortes & Hay is paying less and less for storage space. Eventually, it won’t have the need for paper storage at all. This represents a savings of many thousands of dollars over time.