Lowell Deeds

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

June 13, 2007

Collectors and Treasures Conference

by @ 5:51 am. Filed under Current Events, Local Govt

This week I attended the Massachusetts Collectors and Treasurers Association annual conference on local taxation and finance. The conference took place in Falmouth and was well atended by Collectors and Treasurers from all parts of the state. Every August I also attend the association’s conference held at UMass, Amherst. In fact for past ten years or so, either Register Dick Howe or I have taught a course in Amherst called the Tax Collector and the Registry of Deeds…but back to Falmouth…A number of state officials also came to the conference either to address the group or teach. Katherine Craven, Executive Director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority discussed the procedures for school building projects and gave an update; Kathleen Colleary from the Bureau of Municipal Finance Law (Mass Department of Revenue) hosted an open forum on understanding a town’s audit. Today (Wednesday) Attorney Gary Blau from the Property Tax Bureau (DOR) will explain and discuss new laws affecting the duties and responsibilities of Treasures and Collectors. This is a “don’t miss class” and very well attended. Also scheduled later today are Dennis Mountain, Kathy Reed, Jim Podolak and Deborah Wagner all from DOR. With the current burden on cities and towns in Massachusetts they will discuss a very timely topic “Is Your Community In Jeopardy”. Collectors and Treasurers use credits earned attending class at the conference here and in Amherst to gain certification.

Real Estate Literacy

by @ 2:41 am. Filed under Registry Ops

Whenever I spend some time in our Customer Service office, I’m reminded that the average homeowner knows more about his cable TV bill than he does about the ownership of his house. That’s not said as a criticism of homeowners, it’s more of a comment on how arcane Massachusetts property law can be. This summer, we will make an effort to provide more information on our website about real estate basics. Some of the most frequent questions asked by registry customers are “How do I take someone’s name off of my deed?” or “I just paid off my mortgage; can I get my deed back now?” or “Where can I get a copy of my plot plan?” Out of state calls inevitably come from big mortgage servicers asking for property tax information. When we say, “You’ll have to get that from the assessors” they respond “Can you connect me.” You see, in most of the rest of the country, it’s the county that administers and collects the real estate tax system, so the concept that the local town hall handles that in Massachusetts is foreign to most out-of-staters. While these are all legitimate questions, the answers tend to surprise most people. Putting those answers on our website should help.

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