Lowell Deeds

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

November 1, 2005

E-Recording Glitch

by @ 3:29 pm. Filed under E-Recording


The wisdom of our long test period with electronic recording was made evident yesterday when a significant problem arose for the first time. We had agreed to increase the volume of submissions to evaluate how the system (and we) handled it. With the system already busier than usual with the predictable last day of the month up tick in recording volume, we received 82 separate electronic recordings all at once. Fortunately they were all mortgage discharges so the indexing data we had to verify was not particularly complex, and each document consisted of only a single image. The problem occurred with the 21st document. Each document was a separate “payload” so they were being recorded individually (remember, a “payload” is a group of related documents, much like a “set” is with walk-in recordings). This 21st document was all in order, but when we clicked to put it on record, the computer generated an error message that indicated that the work station we were using had lost contact with the database on the main server in mid-recording. The transaction was issued an instrument number, all indexing info was present in our database, and the correct fee was charged, but there was no image – it had evaporated. Of course, the obvious risk with electronic recording is that there’s no paper document to fall back on; all you have is that electronic image and now we didn’t even have that. Unfortunately, none of us had contemplated this exact problem. We had experienced computer problems previously, but they would simply bounce the recording back to the customer. This was different – the document was recorded but suddenly there was no document. So we’ve put a halt to electronic recording for now until we develop a standard procedure to follow in the case of a damaged or missing electronic document. We’ll share this procedure with you and make an announcement here once we have resumed electronic recording.

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