The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell
Here’s my list of the top ten events that effected the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds during 2007.
1. On August 20, 2007, we fully implemented our “scan and return” operation. From that day forward, all recorded documents were scanned at the time of recording and immediately returned to the customer.
2. The physical layout of the registry changed significantly, with all books and the traditional research tables removed from the Upper Record Hall, replaced by a joint Middlesex North – Middlesex South recording area and by tables available to the public for real estate closings. In addition, the Plan Room moved to an alcove off the Upper Record Hall and Customer Service moved into the former recording counter area.
3. All scanning efforts were devoted to improving the quality of our online documents. More than 1800 “new” books (the white plastic covered, 9 x 12 inch versions) have been rescanned. We also “borrowed” a book cutter from the Worcester Registry. We use this to cut the pages out of the old, large format record books to make rescanning them easier and more efficient.
4. The volume of documents being recorded continues to go down, except for foreclosures which continue to go up.
5. The Massachusetts Registers of Deeds Association finally adopts Document Formatting Standards which will take effect on January 1, 2008.
6. Work continued on our “Chain of Title” project in which we link together deeds that relate to the same parcel of land. We have completed Dracut and Chelmsford and are now working on Westford. When this is finished, you will (among other things) to trace back ownership of a property through time with just a click of the mouse.
7. The State Department authorized the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds to serve as an agent for the reception of US Passport applications.
8. Three new companies (Simplifile, Ingeo and LandData) joined eRX in electronic recording with this registry.
9. We have installed wireless internet service in the registry for public use (although we will not be turning it on until January 2008).
10. A company called National Deed Service aggressively markets it service of obtaining a homeowner a certified copy of the homeowner’s deed for $50, something the registry provides to the homeowner for free.
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