Carbon court system causes issues
A new case management system that Carbon County installed earlier this year is causing problems for employees and the residents needing to use it.
On Thursday, several title searchers and county employees, approached the board of commissioners with concerns over the new Tyler Technologies Odyssey case management system. The system went live in April.
Michael Solt of Community Settlement, a subsidiary of McGriff Insurance, said since the new system went live, it has caused nothing but headaches. The company Solt works for deals with title insurance.
Solt provided a recent example involving property that was in foreclosure.
“When my searcher reported back that there was nothing on my seller, that’s interesting because there is a $250,000 foreclosure against this property that I’m trying to get cleared and there is no information on it,” he said. “It was only through extra research that I was able to find this information.”
Solt said that through discussions with his underwriter, he found out that the Pennsylvania Land Title Association is aware of the situation in Carbon County.
“We still don’t have a resolution,” he said. “We’re going on two months now.”
To finish the sale, Solt said he was told to get a bond; however “a bond is only as good as the paper it’s written on and this deal, I would have a $250,000 liability against me (because) I can’t get the information at the county level. And it’s because of the formatting and way the search works on that system.
“It’s creating a burden on my company that I have to assume a $250,000 risk when I should be able to go to the courthouse and get the information I need.”
Several other title searchers also spoke up with significant problems with the new Tyler Odyssey system, including being unable to run successful searches on simple names and numbers for companies, as well as not being able to see estates in the searches.
Some called the new system “inadequate” while others said it was creating liabilities on their businesses.
Leslie Solt, a title searcher for over 35 years said she isn’t confident in her work as a result of the new system.
Jennifer Roberti of Paramount Abstract, a title company for real estate, said that her company has had issues since Odyssey was put into place.
“We try to do the best we can,” Roberti said. “We always had confidence in the old system, but the new system is falling short.”
“As title searchers, we’re required to have title insurance,” said Linda Fiorilla. “So if we’re performing a search and I type the name ‘Miller, John’ and I get no results found and there’s an IRS lean for $58,000 and it closes and three months down the road, there’s a claim filed against me, then it affects my insurance that I have to carry. We can’t perform searches and be held liable for the company’s that we work for and then be held responsible for this new portal system.”
Fiorilla also said that she did a search in the old system and it showed 10 municipal liens. With the new system, those liens didn’t show up.
“We’re putting a lot at risk for us professional and financially,” she said.
Karen Sweeney of court administration said that she put in a ticket with Tyler Technologies and is waiting on the company.
“We’re just not getting anywhere with them,” she said, adding that the last email they received was promoting new software that can be purchase because it works better. “We’ve already spent the money on the product that we purchased, why should we invest more money in something else that you’re saying would work but you also said the portal will work and it’s not working.”
Tyra Boni, clerk of courts, said her office is also experiencing issues with the new system.
Commissioners’ Chairman Wayne Nothstein said that he has heard about the problems and said that the county “needs to be very firm with Tyler that we want answers and we want it fixed.”
“This has been going on long enough,” he said.
Commissioner Rocky Ahner said that this can be an issue because the people here doing the searches will look like the bad person, rather than the system.
“This is serious,” he said. “... The consumer is the one that’s really going to (get) hurt.”
He suggested stopping payment to Tyler until it gets fixed.
Commissioner Chris Lukasevich asked if the mortgage companies are raising concerns with the notes the title searchers have to make due to the system.
Michael Solt said the bank won’t accept the exception on the account he is working on so he may be forced to do a bond, which is putting his company’s reputation at risk.
The commissioners said that they will work to get a meeting with Tyler and sit down with the company, as well as the solicitor and other officials to try and get this sorted out.
Carbon County purchased the Odyssey system on the recommendation of the courts in 2021 at a cost of $604,840. The system replaced the Anita Civil Case Management system in the court administration, clerk of courts, prothonotary and register of wills/orphans court offices.
At the time, then court administrator Greg Armstrong said the system would help with scheduling, hearing notices and coordination between the offices.