Lowell Deeds

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

June 22, 2007

Cover Sheets & Formatting Standards

by @ 11:45 am. Filed under Indexing, Registry Ops

From our very first electronically recorded document, we have used a cover sheet automatically inserted by our computer system. The reason for this sheet is that the non-uniform appearance and formatting of the documents we receive deprives us of a safe place to imbed recording information. On tangible documents, we are able to squeeze in recording info labels in any available space, but that’s a poor practice. The quality of our documents would benefit from having the recording information in the same location on every document. In seems that many mortgages routinely leave a 3 inch by 3 inch blank box in the upper right hand corner of the first page for recording information. This is that standard that we will be adopting on the first of the year. But we also recognize that our customers are often powerless to effect the formatting of documents that are received from governmental entities or large corporations, and they would get caught in a bureaucratic crossfire should be strictly enforce such a standard. The solution we’re considering is a coversheet for walk-in and mailed-in recordings. The cover sheet is an old concept, going back to the 1990s where it was considered as part of indexing by OCR (optical character recognition). While OCR- cover sheets are an obsolete concept now, the idea of a cover sheet is widely acceptable. So what we propose, is having a stack of blank cover sheets at the recording counter. If a document presented for recording doesn’t contain sufficient space in the upper right corner for recording info, we’ll just attach a cover sheet to the front of it and put the recording info there. If the customer doesn’t like it, the next trip to the recording counter, he can bring a properly formatted document. But in the meantime, we won’t be rejecting a large number of documents for noncompliance with this standard.

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