Feb. 18, 2004 – Efforts to get the computer system back in service in the Recorder of Deeds Office should be completed "ideally before two weeks," a spokeswoman for Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards said on Wednesday.
According to Angela Johnson, the government's Management Information Services staff of the Lieutenant Governor's Office is continuing to work with Landata Systems to solve the problem that had real estate agents fearing they wouldn't be able to close on pending property sales.
The Recorder of Deeds Office is a division within the Office of Lieutenant Governor.
"It's not as dire as we first thought," Nick Bailey, president of the St. Thomas/St. John Board of Realtors, said on Wednesday.
Johnson said a hard-drive capacity problem caused the computer system to fail at the end of January. Essentially, she said, input exceeded the system's capacity.
The result for realty professionals– what Bailey called "a meltdown" — was that people accustomed to doing title searches by computer at the Recorder of Deeds Office were forced to turn to manual searches through the Recorder of Deeds records.
Compounding the problem, the manual records were not up to date when the computer system went down. "They had all the stuff recorded thrown in boxes," Bailey said, adding that he found it hard to believe that there was no electronic backup for the information stored in the computer system.
Actually, Johnson said, there was full electronic backup, and Landata has been recovering and assessing the data and reinstalling it in a server that's on loan to the office.
Johnson also said the manual-entry record book is now current through Feb. 9.
She said a newer version of the software used has been installed on the loaner hardware to resolve the capacity problem temporarily, and a whole new system will be in place by spring. That system will be Web based, she said, meaning the data eventually will be accessible via the Internet.
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