The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell
For some reason, several people recently asked me why our registered land department will not return original document to property owners as is the case with recorded land. That’s a question that I always had and five or six years ago I finally received a reasonable answer at a seminar with Land Court officials. With registered land, the Commonwealth guarantees title to the property which is why we have such a high standard for documents to be “registered.” But a document might appear perfectly legitimate but still be a forgery. If a claim of forgery ever arose, having the original document available for analysis by a document examiner would be crucial. A document examiner not only compares the appearance of a signature (something that can be done from a copy) but also uses a microscope to view the physical characteristics of the signature: at what point did the pen first touch the paper; at what point was the pen lifted from the paper; how much pressure was used at what point in the signature. Those are all factors that could not be determined from a photocopy and so, for that reason, the Land Court requires us to retain possession of original documents in registered land matters.
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