Richard P. Howe Jr.
Register of Deeds

 

Middlesex North Registry of Deeds

360 Gorham Street - Lowell, Massachusetts 01852 - T.978/322-9000

www.lowelldeeds.com

 


Directions & Hours

Registry BLOG

Homestead Info

Recording Fees

Indexing Standards

Property Tax Info

FAQs

Fact Sheets

Secretary of State

 


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I add someone's name to my deed?
How do I take someone's name off of my deed?
My husband recently passed away.  How do I take his name off of the deed to our house?
I just got married.  How to I change my deed to show my new name?
I paid off my mortgage.  What do I do now?
How do I get a copy of my deed?
What is a Declaration of Homestead?
I have a lien on my property?  How do I clear it up?
What is a mechanics lien?
What is a Municipal Lien Certificate?
Can I record a document by mail?
Can I come to the registry to record a document?
Where do I park when I come to the registry?
What is Registered Land?
Where is the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds located?
What if I have any other questions?

How do I add someone's name to my deed?

To make someone else a co-owner of real estate, you must convey an interest in the property to that person.  You do this by creating a new deed that conveys an interest in the property from you (the current owner) to you and the new co-owner.  This new deed should then be recorded at the registry of deeds.  The filing fee for a deed is $125.  We strongly advise you to hire an attorney to do this for you. 

How do I take someone's name off of my deed?

That person has to sign a new deed transferring his interest in the property to you.  That deed should then be recorded at the registry of deeds.  The filing fee for a deed is $125.  We strongly advise you to hire an attorney to do this for you. 

My husband recently passed away.  How do I take his name off of the deed to our house?

Most married couples own real estate as tenants by the entirety which means there is a right of survivorship.  When one spouse dies, his interest in the property is extinguished and the surviving spouse automatically becomes the sole owner of the property.  There is no need to create a new deeds since nothing is being transferred.  To show the change in ownership, however, a death certificate for the deceased spouse should be recorded at the registry of deeds.  The filing fee for a death certificate is $75.

I just got married.  How to I change my deed to show my new name?

You don't really have to do anything.  Your deed is already recorded, so it can't be altered or changed.  A new deed is not required since the property hasn't been transferred to anyone.  Just leave it the way it is for now.  The next time you record a document at the registry of deeds (say you refinance or record a declaration of homestead), be sure your name is listed this way: "YOUR NEW NAME, formerly known as YOUR OLD NAME."  We will add both names to our index which will show that both refer to the same person.

I paid off my mortgage.  What do I do now?

The bank or mortgage company should send you a document called a discharge of mortgage.  You must record that document at the registry of deeds.  The filing fee for a discharge of mortgage is $75.  When the discharge of mortgage is recorded, we create a link between it and the mortgage being discharged so that anyone looking at the mortgage in our records would immediately see that it had been discharged.  Some people mistakenly think the mortgage is removed from our records or that they somehow "get their deed back" but neither of those things occur.

How do I get a copy of my deed?

If you follow the "search land records" link on the first page of our website, you can find, view and print your deed over the Internet on your own computer.  The copy your print from the Internet is usually adequate for most purposes.  If you are involved in some type of court case or a hearing before a governmental board, you should probably obtain a certified copy of the deed.  Unfortunately, certified copies are not available online but must be obtained at the registry of deeds.  If you can't find your original deed, a certified copy has the same legal effect.

What is a Declaration of Homestead?

By recording a declaration of homestead at the registry of deeds, a homeowner protects up to $500,000 in the equity of the family home from creditors.  A homestead does not wipe out your debt, it just prevents your creditor from seizing your house to pay off the debt.  The filing fee for recording a declaration of homestead is $35.  For more information, follow the "Homestead" link on our website or click here.

My credit report says there's a lien on my property.  How do I clear it up?

There are many types of liens.  Most of them are issued by a court.  To have such a lien removed, you must get a corresponding document from the court showing that the lien has been paid off or dissolved.  If the lien is from the IRS, the state department of revenue or the local tax collector, then the agency that issued the lien must also issue a document releasing the lien.  In all of these cases, the document releasing the lien must be recorded here at the registry of deeds.   

What is a mechanics lien?

If you have performed services on or provided goods for a building or real estate, you may be entitled to claim a "mechanics lien" to help secure the payment of the money owed to you.  The procedure, which is very complicated with strict procedural and time deadlines, is found in Massachusetts General Laws chapter 254

What is a Municipal Lien Certificate

A Municipal Lien Certificate is issued by the town treasurer and states the amount of property taxes that are assessed against a particular piece of property.  Whenever someone buys property or refinances, a Municipal Lien Certificate is routinely recorded along with the new deed or mortgage.  By recording a Municipal Lien Certificate, the property owner's liability for unpaid taxes is limited to those listed on the certificate.  If the town discovers afterwards that more taxes are owed, the new property owner is not liable for them.   

Can I record a document by mail?

Yes.  Just mail the original document, your check for the correct recording fee, and a self-addressed stamped envelope to “Middlesex North Registry of Deeds, 360 Gorham Street, Lowell, MA 01852.”  Documents received by mail are usually recorded by close of business on the day after we receive them.  You can check on the status of your mailed-in document on our website.  

Can I come to the registry to record a document?

To record a document in person, just come to the registry during our normal hours of operation (8:30 am to 4:15 pm, Monday thru Friday) with the original document.  You also need the appropriate recording fee which must be paid by cash or check (payable to “Registry of Deeds”).  In most cases, we will scan the document while you wait and hand you back the original for you to keep.  The entire process usually takes less than ten minutes.  When you come to the registry, your first stop should be at our Customer Service Office.  The employees there will review your document and direct you to the proper recording counter within the registry.  

Where do I park when I come to the registry?

There is curbside parking on most of the streets behind and across Gorham Street from the courthouse (although there is no parking on Gorham Street).  One block down Elm Street, diagonally across from the back of the courthouse, there is a parking lot for jurors.  If there is space in the lot, members of the public may leave their cars there.  (The parking lot attached to the back of the courthouse is reserved parking for courthouse employees).

What is Registered Land?

Massachusetts has two separate systems of recording documents related to the ownership of land.  These two systems are known as recorded land and registered land.  Most property is known as recorded land.  With recorded land, documents are recorded in record books in the sequence we receive them, so within a book, one document will probably have nothing to do with the documents that come before it or after it within the same book.  You must use the Index to find the relevant documents and interpret them for yourself - the registry of deeds does not become involved in the legal effect of these documents.  Remember, that's recorded landRegistered land is quite different.  With registered land the registry of deeds (operating as an office of the Massachusetts Land Court) issues a property owner a certificate of title.  The certificate of title is a decree in which the Land Court declares that a particular person is the owner of a particular parcel of property and any document that effects the ownership of that parcel is annotated on the back of the certificate of title.  The Commonwealth of Massachusetts guarantees title to registered land, so if a problem occurs, the state reimburses the property owner for any losses.  Big problems occur when a document that effects registered land is recorded at the recorded land section of the registry of deeds and vice versa.  So if you are to record a document at the registry of deeds, you must-must-must first determine whether the land in question is registered land or recorded land.  Although there is no simple rule that you can follow, in most cases, a registered land document will refer to a certificate number or a certificate of title number.  If you see anything like that anywhere on the document, it's probably a registered land document.  If you have any questions, please ask a registry employee before you record the document.

Where is the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds located?

We are at 360 Gorham Street, Lowell.  From Route 3 or Route 495, take the Lowell Connector to its very end.  At the end of the Lowell Connector, turn left (onto Gorham Street) and go approximately 100 yards to the first traffic light (intersection of Gorham and Elm Streets).  The registry of deeds is in the Middlesex Superior Courthouse which is to the right of that intersection in the large gray building.

What if I have other questions?

Just call our Customer Service office at 978/322-9000 or send us an email.