Register O’Donnell Announces Filing of Residential Mortgage Assignment Bill

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell announced the filing of two bills designed to promote mortgage transparency here in Massachusetts.  For the upcoming legislative session Senator John Keenan (D-Quincy) filed legislation in the Massachusetts State Senate which was given Senate Docket # 493 while in the State House of Representatives, Representative William Galvin (D-Canton) filed legislation that was given House Docket # 991.

Register O’Donnell stated that both pieces of legislation would require that when banks transfer or assign their residential mortgages to a different lending institution then that assignment would be required to be recorded with the relevant Massachusetts Registry of Deeds office within 30 days of its execution.

Register O’Donnell stated “I want to express my appreciation to both Senator John Keenan and Representative Bill Galvin for filing this legislation.  If this legislation becomes law it would help homeowners find out if their mortgage has been assigned to another party in a very timely manner.  Also with this information available on-line it would be easier and more transparent for the homeowner to make sure they get this mortgage assignment information.”

The need for this legislation hit home recently when the Boston Globe published an article “Can You Help Get Me My $20,000.00 Back?” by Sean P. Murphy on December 8, 2020 which highlighted the difficulties that can result when an assignment is not recorded.  O’Donnell stated, “This article spoke about a couple who found a home in Worcester which needed work.  To finance the purchase and remolding costs, the couple wanted to sell their condo in Easton.  However, a title problem developed with the Easton condo due to a mortgage assignment not being properly recorded.  Because the assignment was not recorded at the Registry of Deeds, the lending institution who was the current holder of the mortgage lacked the legal authority to discharge the mortgage.  A process that should have taken a few days took several weeks as two large lending institutions could not get their act together and solve the title problem by filing the assignment.  After several weeks of back and forth the problem was resolved and the assignment was recorded, but only after the intervention of the Boston Globe.”

Senator John Keenan in commenting on the Residential Mortgage Assignment Bill stated “I am pleased to partner with Register O’Donnell again on this important consumer protection legislation that will help homeowners better understand who holds their mortgage, which will help protect their most important asset, their home.”  Representative Bill Galvin stated, “This bill is a tool that will allow homeowners to track residential mortgage assignments.  Filing the bill is the first step but getting other legislators to support this legislative initiative is so very important.”

Register O’Donnell indicated that local state representatives and state senators are signing on to sponsor both Senate Docket # 493 and House Docket # 991.  He urged citizens to reach out to their local state representatives and state senators and urge them to sign on as sponsors of this legislation.  A telephone number to the Massachusetts State House is 1-617-722-2000.  “Years ago former Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill said all politics is local.  Please contact your elected local state representatives and state senators and urge them to sign on as sponsors to Senate Docket # 493 and House Docket # 991, the Residential Mortgage Assignment Bill.”

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at facebook/com/NorfolkDeeds or follow us on and

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  Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at [email protected].



The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds will be closed on Thursday, July 4th in celebration of Independence Day. We are open Friday, July 5th.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is closed Today, July 4th in celebration of Independence Day. We are open Friday, July 5th.