The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell
Last year at this time I listed five things that you would “probably see” at the registry during 2007. Twelve months later, let’s see how we did:
All record books will be removed from the upper record hall. This happened during the summer.
Electronic recording will become more widely used and, by December 2007, will account for 10% of all documents recorded. This prediction was a bit premature. Electronic recording now accounts for about 5% of the documents recorded at this registry which is significant but still not 10%. The Plymouth Registry recently began recording electronically and others should soon follow. When more registries utilize this method, it will become more attractive to customers and our volume will then increase.
Grantor and Grantee Indexes from 1855 to 1976 will be available on our website. Didn’t happen, but not for lack of effort. While all this information is in digital form, we just can’t seem to find the right method for delivering it to our online users. We do plan to make these index images available on our in-registry Public Workstations during January 2008.
We will begin scanning all Registered Land Certificate Books. This project was delayed because our scanners were diverted to rescanning many of our recorded land books once we made the decision to cut the pages of those books out of their binding (following the lead of the Worcester Registry).
All current deeds will be interactively linked to the overhead property photographs and parcel boundary overlays maintained by MassGIS. We’ve been working on an enhanced version of this project, but putting together all the data that’s necessary for this to work is very labor intensive and we’re not close to completion.
Overall, we’ve made significant progress towards achieving each of these goals although we’re still far from accomplishing most of them. That’s partly due to the goals being very aggressive, but also to the reality that changing circumstances require changing plans. Next week I’ll post my predictions for 2008.
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