The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell
Questions about the proper procedure for re-recording a document have arisen lately, so that will be today’s topic. This typically becomes an issue when a problem is discovered after the original document has been recorded. Some of the cases we’ve seen involve ommitting the type of tenancy on a deed into multiple owners, placing the wrlong property address on a document or misspelling a party’s name. The standard practice has been to retrieve the original document, make the correction on it, add an annotation describing the reason the document is being recorded again, and then record it again, assigning a completely new book and page number to it. This was usually done without the knowledge of the party who had signed the document. The proper procedure for handling this situation from the registry’s perspective came up at several meetings on the Deed Indexing Standards. It seems that legally proper way to re-record the same document was to have it re-executed and re-notarized. The registers of deeds collectively decided that the cleanest way of handling this was to require an entirely new document and to completely prohibit the re-recording of any document (although I assume that if an original document was attached to an affidavit, then the document would get recorded as an attachment, but not as an independent document). This all led to the adoption of Deed Indexing Standard 7-11 which states: “The former practice of “re-recording” a document to correct an error or ommission is prohibited.” Although this office has not aggressively enforced this relatively new standard, we will do so now.
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