The implementation of a new system in the Union County Clerk of Court’s office will help Union County catch up with the times.
“When I first took office, I met with people inside and outside the office about upgrades that were needed,” said Clerk of Court Freddie Gault.
The answer he consistently received was to have county mortgages and deeds online.
If someone wants to look up a mortgage, deed or plat, one has to physically go to the county courthouse to do so. This causes an inconvenience, and Gault said that in some cases — such as a potential business coming to Union County — some people don’t want others to see what it is they are looking up.
“Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t call and want to look something up, and can’t,” Gault said. “This past budget year, I worked and was able to get put in through the budget to put our mortgages and deeds online.”
Gault gave an example of Gonvarri Steel Services and its multi-million dollar Gonvauto South Carolina project in Union County.
“This was a project that Tommy Sinclair and county council had worked so hard for, but before it was signed off on, a piece of land had to be registered in my office,” Gault said.
Gault explained that the CEO was in Madrid, Spain, and changes had to be made before he signed the contract. Multiple steps had to be taken to transfer the information and contracts — steps that could have been avoided if Union County’s land records had already been online.
Cott Systems — a company which specializes in information management solutions — has installed a land records management package, allowing all of the Clerk of Court’s office’s land data to be indexed and stored in an online database for optimal searching and reference.
Last week, representatives from Cott Systems worked with the staff in the Clerk of Court’s office to make sure they understand the software.
“We were there in a support role to answer questions and guide them through the system,” said Cott Systems’ Brian Spearman.
Once the system goes live online, people will have the ability to look up mortgages and deeds from their home computer, and CEOs will be able to access records from their desks and see what has been recorded. The system will be accessible through a link on the Clerk of Court’s web page, which can be found through the county’s web page.
“Some counties already have this, and now we are catching Union up with the times — where we maybe should’ve been a long time ago,” Gault said.
Gault said he hopes the system will be online live in the next couple of months, but it will definitely be live by the end of the year.
“This is just one more step to us making the Clerk of Court’s office a better place and a more efficient place in Union County,” Gault said.