New measure sets flat, predictable fees in Register of Deeds offices in SC

COLUMBIA, SC – Celeste Bowers, an associate with Robinson Gray law firm, is pleased to announce that the South Carolina General Assembly has passed legislation creating flat, predictable recording fees for documents filed in Register of Deeds offices across the state.

The legislation was a top legislative goal of the Palmetto Land and Title Association, an organization that works to maintain professional standards and ethics in the title industry in South Carolina, providing educational programs and industry information for its members, and otherwise promoting the advancement of the industry.

Celeste Bowers is a director of PLTA and serves on its legislative committee, and was instrumental in helping pass the new legislation.

“We wanted to make it easier for consumers and others who file documents in the Register of Deeds offices across the state to know what it will cost before they attempt to file a document,” she said. “That’s what this bill does.”

Since the creation of new residential closing forms in 2015, there had been some confusion surrounding closing costs and sometimes delays, which no one involved in the transactions wanted. The new law will give consumers and others accurate recording cost information when purchasing or refinancing a home or other property.

PLTA tried to get the change through in 2018 and it passed the House, but the clock ran out before it could get through the Senate. Rep. Beth Bernstein filed the bill again this year, and it passed the House on May 2. The Senate passed it on the last day of the session with some amendments, and the House concurred 101-0 the same day.

“This is a win for everyone involved in real estate transactions, and I’m particularly proud of PLTA for getting it enacted into law,” said Ms. Bowers.

Celeste focuses her practice at Robinson Gray on commercial transactions, real estate development, and real estate litigation. She advises clients on all aspects of commercial real estate transactions, including but not limited to closings, title issues, and contract formation, negotiation, and interpretation.

About Robinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC

Located in Columbia’s historic Vista district, Robinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC, is a South Carolina law firm that offers a tailored, hands-on approach. It provides business transactional and litigation representation in all state and federal trial and appellate courts in South Carolina. The firm’s 32 attorneys serve clients ranging from multi-national corporations to small businesses and individuals. For more, visit

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