Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell recently hosted a meeting of Massachusetts Registers of Deeds and their staff relative to the enactment of a recent 2017 law which allowed Registries to electronically record registered land or Land Court documents.
“In part, the Registers’ meeting highlighted the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds use of technology when it came to improving the recording experience for our institutional users relative to electronic recording of Land Court documents. Our Registry was the first in Massachusetts to electronically record a registered land or Land Court document beginning on April 12, 2017. We started with electronically recording mortgage discharge documents and then expanded a few months later to all documents submitted to our Land Court including deeds, mortgages and Homesteads,” noted O’Donnell.
The Norfolk County Register explained that Massachusetts has two designations for recording property: recorded land and registered land/Land Court. “The majority of land is designated recorded land while a small percentage, approximately 20% here in Norfolk County, is defined as registered land. Land is considered registered land once a petition has been reviewed and adjudicated by the Massachusetts Land Court Department in Boston,” noted O’Donnell.
The electronic recording of recorded land documents has been in place since 2010 at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds. However, due to the more stringent requirements associated with recording registered land documents, electronic recording of these particular documents could only take place with the passage of Chapter 404 of the Acts of 2016, an Act to Modernize Registries of Deeds, which eliminated the need to retain original registered land documents. The Act passed both the Massachusetts State House of Representatives and Massachusetts State Senate on January 3, 2017. This piece of legislation was signed into law and approved by Massachusetts Governor Charles D. Baker on January 11, 2017 taking legal effect on April 12, 2017.
In conclusion, Register O’Donnell stated, “The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is first and foremost an organization that is focused on customer service. Electronically recording Land Court documents saves our customers considerable time and expense, along with allowing Registry staff to be utilized in a more efficient manner. It’s a win-win situation for us all.”
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.