The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell
On Monday we will begin our next scanning project…. The registry has approximately seven hundred unique documents refer to as Miscellaneous Jurisdictions. These are made up of a variety of document types… Judgments, Statements, Petitions etc. They use a numbering system separate from Recorded or Registered Land… it uses both digits and letters…example Misc Jurist 436b. The first phase of the project will involve scanning the “Misc Jurist” into an independent database in “tiff” format. Registry users will be able to view these images using “stand alone” computers that are no connected to the ACS system. During the days of Wang’s proprietary computer system we used a similar system to make images available to the public. If you are a frequent user of the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds you will remember this system… we called it “Image Inquiry”. The Misc Jurist will be made available in much the same way. I know you have hear me say this before…but…these documents are old and many are in bad condition. This means that many will have to be copied before being scanned. Also, when completed the images will be put on CD and copies will be offered to the public.
As I mentioned last week we have begun taking inventory of our Registered Land images. Up to this point it appears most of the documents that need to be re-scanned are multiples that we intentional skipped during the back scanning project.
We get between 10 and 20 E-Recordings everyday. Some days a large percentage of these have to be rejected because they out of district. Believe it or not…sometimes we send a “wrong registry” document back to a bank only to receive it again the next day.
Friday we finished quality checking the last of the “plan images”. This was a long, tedious project, but it is behind us now. If you see an image that needs to be re-scanned (plan or any other) please let Customer Service know.
The computer images from 1987 to 1950 were captured from microfilm using an automated system. Some of the older books…especially the 2000 series have problems. If the film had been spliced during its processing it muddled the automated scanner/counter. These books need to be re-scanned. They are very big, seven hundred pages or more. We experimented by making copies using a copy machine, then scanning the copies. This took much too long. The alternate plan (and the better one) is to use our Microdax microfilm scanner. We are going to make hard images then scan them…This should be faster.
We finished back scanning the remainder of our Registered Land documents two weeks ago. Since we finished the project earlier than expected we reassigned the scanners to do an additional 22,500 documents. These documents, which are available on the old Image Inquiry computer program, are not on the ACS system. All 22,500 documents have been prepared for scanning and the majority of these have actually been scanned. Today we began to review the “list” of these documents looking for gaps. The gaps are actually very easy to find…when we bring up the document entries an image flag appears beside documents that have been scanned. Simply put…the gaps are entries without image flags. Once this portion of the project is completed will we deal with special scanning problems. As an example… we found early tax liens with newspaper pages attached proving public notice. These papers are large and fragile. Although there are only about eight of these… they will take time and much work to re-scan.
Access Realty World: this is a podcast that features news from the real estate world as well as insider hints and tips. It shares information on how to buy and sell and make profits on Foreclosures
Realize the Realty: this podcast, (well it’s actually a BlogPod), is directed toward homeowners, builders and investors. The show’s blurb brags “Know more about the real estate industry using well-researched information through this blog and podcast.
Rich Buckley Show: (do you think this guy is really named…”rich”???… a real estate podcaster named “rich”… sounds very convenient). Anyway…”Rich” talks about hot trends in California real estate. The program also includes interviews with successful real estate entrepreneurs and discussions on hot button issues.
Podcasts and their topics have expanded greatly in the last six months. You can find podcasts on Politics, Arts, Science, Business, Teen Issues, Computers and just about any other imaginable topic. In fact we have discussed the possiblilty of a “registry of deeds” podcast…so stay tuned.
1986- The Wang computer system wasn’t installed in the registry until September of 1987. This means that in 1986 (the highpoint of the 80’s real estate boom) employees recorded 82,575 documents “by hand”.
1994- The first imaging system was installed in the registry in 1994. 71,427 documents were recorded that year. Interesting fact…with the new imaging system computer responsibilities and document flow were not completely establish in 1994 so the MIS director scanned all documents himself.
1995- Register Howe took office. The registry recorded 60,681 documents that year, less than half of what was recorded in 2003(146,956).
1997- The Massachusetts legislature abolished Middlesex County. That year 70,128 documents were recorded. That July Middlesex North was placed in the office of the Secretary of State.
1999-Thank you Y2K…because of the dreaded “Y2K” bug the Wang computer system was convert to work on a window’s based system called “lightspeed”…and new servers with large memory capacity were installed in the registry. This made it possible for us to scan and store 55 years of images. While “teams” of computer experts upgraded our system, the staff recorded 89,506 documents.
2001- The ACS computer system was installed. That year began the incredible rise in documents… 2001-97,180… 2002-115,890… and finally 2003 a historic 146,6956. The ACS system provided us advantages that allowed us to handled 2003 in stride.
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