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Cyberattack Hits 13 Register of Deeds Offices in NC

On Monday, January 9, 2023, the North Carolina Land Title Association emailed a notice to members regarding the recent cyberattack that disrupted operations at thirteen Register of Deeds offices across North Carolina.  Please see below for important details and guidance.

COTT Systems CyberAttack:

Recently, there was an international cyberattack that has directly affected multiple North Carolina counties and caused at least thirteen Register of Deeds offices to go off-line. While there was some initial progress to restore usage, the COTT systems have once again lost functionality. Based on initial reports, COTT is hopeful to have usage restored by the end of this week. 

Until the issue is fully resolved, NCLTA recommends that if you are closing transactions in any of the affected counties that you contact the local Register of Deeds staff to determine if and how recording can continue. While this is not an exhaustive list, it is a starting point to gather as much information as possible. 

  1. Is the ROD accepting documents to be recorded in-person? If so, are they being held in a queue, or will they be stamped with a book and page and date and time to preserve the order?
  2. Is there a temporary index to review during an update of title?
  3. Are e-recording capabilities still working? If not, will there be a queue created so the pending documents are recorded in the order they were received?

Once you’ve become familiar with the circumstances of the affected Register of Deeds, we recommend you contact your title insurer to discuss the specifics of your transaction for additional guidance. It is possible that your insurer will require the parties involved in the transaction to execute a GAP indemnity so the transaction can proceed and be insured prior to the ultimate resolution. 

These kinds of attacks have happened before and, unfortunately, are likely to occur again. However, NCLTA as well as title underwriters throughout NC will continue to strive for solutions during these challenging circumstances.