It has been over a year since the Coronavirus entered our vocabulary and our lives. What was said of the 1918 influenza pandemic can be said of COVID-19, “Nothing else-no infection, no war, no famine- has ever killed so many in as short a period.” The most important recognition of this COVID-19 pandemic is that it has taken the lives of our fellow Americans and individuals across the globe. The loss of life from COVID-19 has had such a devastating impact on the individual that lost the battle against this deadly disease and the grieving family and friends left behind. There has been both a physical as well as mental toll from COVID-19 on individuals that survived the battle against this debilitating disease. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost their lives due to the Coronavirus and those that have been impacted by Coronavirus.
The employees who work at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds were recently recognized as “Every Day Heroes” by D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches. This recognition program honors groups of individuals who stand out in their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you D’Angelos for saluting the effort and service that I see demonstrated every work day by the employees of the Registry of Deeds. The Norfolk Registry of Deeds employees have kept the Registry open and operational every work day since Governor Baker declared a State of Emergency back on March 10, 2020.
Why is this so noteworthy? By keeping the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds open for the recording of land documents while the COVID-19 pandemic has been ongoing, the Norfolk County real estate economy and market was able to remain viable. These dedicated employees had a hand in making sure if you were a seller your house got sold or if you were a buyer you have your new home to live in. Think of all the individuals impacted by what goes on at the Registry of Deeds- the banks that lend the money, the real estate brokers, builders, contractors, plumbers, painters, home inspectors, appraisers and so many more whose livelihood depends on what takes place at the Registry of Deeds.
The Coronavirus pandemic that has swept the globe has brought medical concerns, financial pressures and a host of negative impacts in the daily lives of all of us. As someone tasked with running the Registry of Deeds I greatly appreciate what the Registry employees have done and continue to do during this trying period of time. Each Norfolk Registry of Deeds employee is an “Every Day Hero” for doing their job and doing it well.
Governor Baker in his Executive order issued on March 23, 2020 defined COVID-19 essential services. There is a reason Registry of Deeds personnel were listed in the Governor’s order. No the services provided do not rise to the impactful jobs done by all our first responders- our police, our fire fighters, our EMTs, our nurses, doctors and medical personnel. A big thank you to all of these workers and all they have done during this COVID-19 pandemic.
But did you know that with the Coronavirus pandemic raging, the Norfolk Registry of Deeds employees recorded a total of 179,2660 land documents during 2020. This is a 19 percent increase compared to the previous year. Through the first three months of 2021 there have been 50,935 documents recorded. There has been busy real estate activity despite COVID-19 that has led to increased revenue collections at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds. Over $68 million dollars was collected in calendar year 2020 due to the efforts of Registry employees. These monies get forwarded to the State where they help pay for critical programs at the state, county and local levels including public safety, health care, education and social services. These collected funds are also used for the Community Preservation Act (CPA) projects in our local communities. All this is why Registry of Deeds workers were deemed essential workers during COVID-19 under Governor Baker’s order.
The safety and health of all our Registry employees has been our chief priority. Social distancing in the work place, changing up work stations, wearing masks, utilizing the Registry Disaster Recovery office and like all of you just being cognizant of the realities of Coronavirus has worked at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds. Not every Registry of Deeds in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there are 21 of them, can say they were NOT shut down during the Coronavirus pandemic. Knock on wood the Norfolk Registry of Deeds is one of those Registries that has not been shut down during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The modernization initiatives implemented at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds assisted in making sure operations during the Coronavirus continued. There is an internet land record research library at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds that goes all the way back to its founding in 1793. Registry’s records are brought into homes and businesses via the Registry website at www.norfolkdeeds.org. Electronic recording is available to record documents. You can contact the Registry Customer Service Department at 1-781-461-6101 with any questions. But it takes people to make sure modernization initiatives and technology work. The Norfolk Registry of Deeds employees are those people.
My wish to the Registry employees and all of you is that you and your loved ones keep well and healthy. Be well. Be safe.
To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at facebook/com/NorfolkDeeds or follow us on twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds and Instagram.com/NorfolkDeeds.
The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website www.norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.