The real estate industry in New Orleans is in shambles after what appears to be a computer crash occurring in the Civil District Court’s computer system. The property records database of Orleans Parish melted down in an unexpected failure, with all the servers containing data on conveyance and mortgage records. The data company that was given the task to back up records back in August of last year had reportedly stopped receiving useful data as early as July of this year, resulting in lost data during each monthly purging cycle.
In trying to recover data, the company was able to salvage a batch of fully updated records. However, it was in a jumbled state and later considered unusable by both computer and real estate experts. The Civil District Court however did manage to save digital conveyance records data dating from the 1980s to March 27 of last year, plus mortgage records data dating up until August 6, 2009. Still, it’s not enough to set investors’ souls at ease, with the court having been left with merely 180,000 hard paper documents that have been consolidated.
The crash could ultimately lead to a freeze in real estate businesses in the area, with the absence of usable real estate records to work with. Thus, title insurance companies are not willing to underwrite sales of homes as well as refinancing deals, as speculations about original ownership and outstanding real estate debts that could have been possibly filed over the last two years come into question.