MUSKEGON- The Muskegon County Register of Deeds Mark Fairchild told The Muskegon Tribune that the COVID-19 Pandemic has brought to the Forefront the Critical Importance of The Register of Deeds office. The Deeds office is located at 173 East Apple Avenue across the street from The Michael E. Kobza Hall of Justice Court House and was one of the first offices created by Muskegon County back in 1859.
The Register of Deeds is Entrusted with the Duty and Responsibility of Recording and Indexing over 100 different types of Real Estate Records along with their Perpetual Safekeeping. This degree of Record Integrity protects your individual property rights. Imagine a county or community where nobody would be able to identify who owns what, addresses could not be verified, or property assets could not be turned into money. Fairchild said that The Register of Deeds office is recognized as the Pinnacle Intersection of Business and Government because of their Very Important Statutory Mission.
On Friday March 13, 2020, The Muskegon County Health Director and the County Board of Commissioners Chairperson Declared a Local State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This Local State of Emergency as we now know meant the Closure of all Non-essential County offices and facilities. Fairchild knew and determined that it would be Impossible to close The Register of Deeds office because of its Importance to the citizens of Muskegon County. The citizens would still need the ability to originate new Mortgages and sell Real Estate.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency also Deemed that The Register of Deeds was Essential Critical Infrastructure and should remain operational. Although the Deeds office lobby was closed to the public during the “Governors COVID-19 Stay at Home Order” until June 15, 2020, the Deeds office continued to operate fully behind the scenes and remotely with the Deeds staff working from home.
During this period, the Register of Deeds successfully recorded over ten thousand documents, responded to thousands of telephone calls and e-mails, while fulfilling thousands of copy request for previously Recorded Documents. Even after the Deeds office lobby opened back up in June and the County closed all their offices on Fridays in June and July, Fairchild kept The Register of Deeds office lobby open to the serve the citizens of the County.
To Protect the Integrity of the Register of Deeds Records, Fairchild worked to create and launch Property Fraud Guard which is a simple online application that he has provided Free of Charge to help protect you or your Business from becoming the victim of fraud. Property Fraud Guard will notify you via e-mail when your name is on a document being recorded in the Register of Deeds office. With Fraud Guard, you will stay informed about how your name is used by others. You can Enroll Free today at @ Co.muskegon.mi.us/deeds.
Mark Fairchild concluded by saying “Today the Register of Deeds Records and Protects your most Important Real Estate Records so we can Preserve the Past to Protect your Future” – “Good Deeds Last Forever”.