5 Most Common Reasons for Recording Rejection

5 Most Common Reasons for Recording Rejection


County clerks and recorders reject documents for a variety of reasons. In fact, according to the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA), there are more than 150 individual reasons documents may be rejected.


Those reasons fit into seven main categories for easier identification.

  1. Document formatting
  2. Image quality
  3. Incorrect information
  4. Missing information
  5. Payment error
  6. Wrong recording jurisdiction
  7. Customer courtesy

Several issues are more prevalent in traditional paper recording than in its electronic counterpart. For this reason, submitters should eRecord as a best practice whenever possible.


Let’s break down the top 5 reasons documents get rejected and how you can overcome these avoidable errors.

  1. Missing Legal Description

Each property is defined not by its street address but by its legal description. Legal descriptions come in various formats, from lot and block numbers to metes and bounds that describe the land’s boundaries. Legal descriptions may be displayed in long-form or shortened for eRecording purposes.

To reduce errors in this category, double-check that the legal description is present and that any shortened versions of the legal description meet the jurisdiction’s specific requirements.

  1. Missing or Incorrectly Labeled Attachments

In addition to ensuring the legal description is included in the document, it’s just as important to reference any attachments in the document’s body and correctly label it.

Example: An attached document referenced as “Exhibit A” in the body of the document also needs to be specifically labeled as “Exhibit A.” If the attachment lacks a reference or is labeled as anything other than “Exhibit A,” the document will likely be rejected.

We’ve all pushed send too quickly on an email before including an attachment. Submitting documents for recording is no different. Before you press that send button, cross-reference your documents for matching terms and verify that referenced materials are actually attached.

  1. Missing or Incorrect Reference Numbers

Assignments and satisfactions are two types of documents that often reference book and page numbers, instrument numbers, or document numbers from previous recordings. If these reference numbers are incorrect or missing, the county cannot trace the previous paperwork to verify the recording. A little background research in this area can save your document from rejection.

  1. Incorrect office or jurisdiction

Some counties may be split into districts or encompass jurisdictions inside of jurisdictions. It is always helpful to do a quick double-check of the physical document to ensure you have the proper jurisdiction before hitting that submit button.

This error is common when dealing with large piles of documents. If most of the recordings are going to a single county, it’s easy to miss that one out-of-county package. We have seen some of these documents get recorded in the wrong jurisdiction. If this occurs, you’ll be responsible for paying a second time to have it recorded in the correct county.

  1. Missing or illegible notary information

Notary information needs to be clear and legible. Fading ink, uneven pressure of the stamp, or low scan quality can affect the notary stamp’s legibility.

To lessen the chance of rejection, make sure your notary acknowledgment meets state requirements and formatting. Complete dates and consistent application of names are required.


What, if anything, can submitters do to increase the odds of having documents accepted and recorded the first time?

Establish a relationship and open communication with the jurisdictions you record in most often. Assign a primary contact person in your office to speak with the county.

Know the formatting, margin, and image quality requirements for the jurisdiction. If the county is unfamiliar, don’t be afraid to ask questions before submitting.

When errors do occur, identify steps in your process to add a checkpoint to prevent them from being repeated.

eRecord and use other technological advances to assist with image quality and indexing.

Of course, the easiest way to reduce rejections and keep recording confirmations rolling in is to partner with an industry expert like SYNRGO. We have one of the lowest rejection rates in the industry and record documents in every county of the United States.

Schedule a demo today to learn more about how our services can save you both time and money.