Schoharie County

County Clerk Frequently Asked Questions

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Schoharie County Clerk

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of records does the County Clerk keep?

Deeds, mortgages, maps, liens, judgments, foreclosures, and court records are filed in the Clerk's Offices, as well as other documents such as divorces, powers of attorney, records of assumed business names, veterans discharges, lis pendens, and other miscellaneous records.

Where is the County Record Room located?

County Clerk's Office, 284 Main Street, on the first floor of the County Office Building, Schoharie, New York 12157

Are the records open to the public?

Yes, with the exception of divorces, separation agreements, and military discharges. By law, these records are confidential.

How does the Clerk file public records?

Information from documents filed with this office is entered into a computer at the receiving desk. Recording fees are paid and receipts issued. The documents are automatically indexed by entry into the computer. The computer index has been available since January of 1994. Index books prior to 1994 are available in the record room. They can be found in alphabetical order by date and time. These documents are now legally recorded. A certified copy of these documents can be obtained at any time.

What happens next?

After being entered into the computer and indexed to the proper book, the instrument is scanned electronically and the image is stored. These stored images are also used to create microfilm copies of each instrument for long-term storage. Each scanned image is checked for clarity and accuracy, printed out on a page, and the page is placed in the proper book. The book is shelved in our Record Room for public use as an extra resource beyond the computer terminals, which are also for public use. After the original documents are filed, the Land Records are returned to the interested party within two weeks. Or, if they are Civil Documents, they are kept in the Clerk's Record Room.

Deeds & Mortgages

Why are these instruments microfilmed?

For the protection of our citizens and the preservation of the records, the Clerk places the rolls of developed film in storage vaults in mountain areas which are located in New York and Pennsylvania. The vaults are climate controlled and the film can always be obtained for reproduction, if necessary.

What is a Deed?

A deed is an instrument by which a purchaser obtains title to a piece of real property. The Warranty Deed is the most common form. By this instrument, the seller warrants that they have not encumbered the title and further guarantees their predecessors have not encumbered the title. Another less common form of deed is the Quitclaim Deed. A Quitclaim Deed is a deed which conveys the grantor's rights or interest in real estate, without any agreement or covenant as to the nature or extent of that interest, or any other covenants. This deed is usually used to remove a cloud from a title.

What if I lose my original Deed or Mortgage?

If you misplace or lose the original copy that has been returned to you after recording, a copy may be made of the one we have in our Record Room. We will attach a certification that it is a true copy of the original, and you keep that with your personal papers in place of the original. A nominal fee is charged for a certified copy.

Does a Deed have to be recorded?

Yes. A deed should be recorded as promptly as possible after the transaction of sale. Failure to record a deed could create many legal difficulties.

How is the validity of a title determined?

Almost everything a person does (or sometimes does not do) has a bearing on their property. Such things as divorce, death, nonpayment of debts, bankruptcy, subdivision of property and countless other situations affect the property. Professional title searchers (sometimes called abstractors) will "search" the title to real estate and apply a body of law to the validity of the title.

Can I use the Record Room?

Yes. Anyone can use the records in our custody. We ask only that you use them with care so that they will last for everyone's use. The Record Room is open from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 8:30 A.M to 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday. It is best to come in person to use the records. However, if that is impossible, a limited amount of information may be obtained over the telephone. You may call (518) 295-8316 with your questions. The Record Room is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and most holidays.

How can I find my Deed?

You can find your deed by consulting the "Grantee" index located in the Record Room.Using the year of purchase and the formula by which the document is indexed, your deed is easily located. The index will refer you to the book in which, and the page on which, your deed has been recorded.

Can I locate the mortgage on my house?

Yes. Your mortgage is processed the same way as your deed. You are the "Mortgagor", and you would consult the "Mortgagor" index using the same date and formula information you used when locating your deed. The "mortgagor" index will refer you to the book in which, and the page on which, your mortgage has been recorded.

Does the County Clerk provide any other services?

Yes. The Clerk accepts applications for Passports and acts as an agent for the United States Government in this capacity. The Clerk is the Records Management Officer for the County of Schoharie. A records management program has been instituted which will ensure the preservation of all permanent and archival records, will see to the destruction of obsolete records, and ultimately be to the benefit of the county taxpayers.