Three lenders separately originated trust deeds on the same parcel of real estate. The trust deeds were presented to the county recorder by different title companies on the same day, before business hours, for recording and indexing. The recorder recorded the trust deeds as received at the same hour: 8:00 AM. The recorder later indexed the trust deeds individually at different times and with different numerical identification numbers. The lender with the trust deed indexed first claimed priority for his trust deed over the other trust deeds. The lender with the trust deed indexed second denied the first lender’s claim for priority, claiming the trust deeds had equal priority since a trust deed’s priority is determined when it is recorded, not when it is indexed. A California court of appeals held the trust deeds held by the lenders on the same property recorded as received by the county recorder at the same time had equal priority to one another, since the time of recording a trust deed sets its priority in title and the trust deeds were all time dated at 8:00 AM. [First Bank v. East West Bank (2011)_CA4th_]

Editor’s note – Recording and indexing are two separate procedures with two separate functions – recording is a legal procedure which functions to lawfully register a trust deed, while indexing is an office procedure serving the clerical purpose of giving notice to those who record their interest after the indexing occurs.