The Recorder's office maintains the County's official public registry of real estate ownership, and record of persons (other than the owner) that may have rights over that property. The record helps owners prove their ownership rights. It helps mortgage lenders, judgment creditors, contractors and others assert their lien interests against those properties, and helps the rest of us research and investigate land transfers and sale histories.
Buyers who use mortgages to purchase Chicago area property typically pay for the recording of two documents with each closing - the Deed and the Mortgage. Sellers pay to record a Release of each existing Mortgage that is being paid-off as a part of the transaction.
Readers are reminded that Fidelity family of title companies recently announced that it was abandoning the practice of collecting the precise recording fees from Buyers and Sellers in favor of a flat fee based on the average of all recording fees without regard for the number of pages in a document. As a result (at least for the time being), Buyers and Sellers will not see any change in their closing costs.