Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

August 2, 2005

“Tough Love” at the Recording Counter

by @ 7:47 pm. Filed under Registry Ops

We continue to experience problems with documents presented to us for recording. One problem occurs when a customer presents us with a stack of loose pages. This happens frequently and leaves us in a position of sorting through the stack, trying to discern what’s a separate document and what’s an attachment to a document. With multiple rider mortgages, this is no easy task. Of course, when an assignment or a homestead, the last in the stack, is counted as the last page of the preceding mortgage, the offender is quick to blame us for the oversight. The other problem is with the order of documents. Last Friday, a young man presented me with a stack of pages. I slid them back to him and asked him to staple the pages of the various documents together. He proceeded to staple the MLC, the 6D certificate and the deed all together in one package, then a first mortgage in another and the second mortgage in a third. I asked if that was really how he wanted things recorded (it would have went on record as a 3-page MLC then two mortgages). He called someone on his cell phone and spent a considerable period of time tying up the recording counter sorting through his documents. When he finally gave them back to me, the first three documents were separate, but the mortgage in the lesser amount was in first place and the mortgage in the greater amount was in second place. And that’s exactly how they were recorded. At some point, I suspect, someone will realize the order of the mortgages is wrong and call, asking what can be done. Well they have two choices: Leave things as is or rerecord both mortgages in their proper order, paying the $175 per mortgage recording fee - that’ll cost $350 dollars to sort that out. That’s what I mean by “tough love.” For too long, we’ve been trying very hard to accommodate people, to help sort out documents and put them in the presumed proper order. But the only result our efforts have yielded is more sloppiness on behalf of more lawyers and their agents. So we’ve decided to tighten up our procedures to try to force the offenders described above to do the bare minimum that is expected from an attorney in the real estate business. For the vast majority of you who are consummate professionals, this should only improve your experience at the recording counter since you shouldn’t get stuck in line behind a customer who’s trying get his papers ready at the recording terminal rather than back at the office. If our measures, which we will describe here in the near future, have an adverse impact on you, please let us know.

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