BUFFALO, NY - Checks worth millions of dollars from a backlog of mail has been cashed by the Erie County Clerk.
Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs says $5-million dollars has been deposited so far from checks that were in unopened envelopes. The mail was a spill over from the previous two clerks.
Jacobs says $7,000 has been spent in overtime for workers to come in on Saturdays and tackle the piles and piles of mail. Based on what was done on Saturdays alone, Jacobs says "$737,171 was deposited."
The Clerk anticipates all of the uncashed checks will be deposited in a couple of weeks.
There is another room in the Clerk's office that is still loaded with mail bins filled with mortgage documents that must be opened, verified and returned to banks, lawyers and homeowners. Jacobs expects that task will take about four months to complete. More money overtime will be spent to get the job done.
A task force is working with the Clerk's office to make sure this type of backlog does not happen again, according to Jacobs. The goal in the future is that "checks will be cashed no later than two or three days. Original documents will be returned no longer than two months. Right now original documents were languishing as much as 18-months which is very much an impediment to our financial institutions," he said.