Register O’Donnell Appeared as Guest Speaker for the Rotary Club of Quincy

Quincy, MA– Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell appeared as a guest speaker for the Rotary Club of Quincy as part of his ongoing efforts to bring the Registry of Deeds directly to the residents of Norfolk County.

“On behalf of the Rotary Club of Quincy, we wish to thank Register O’Donnell for the invaluable contribution he made,” expressed Rotary Club of Quincy President Margaret Laforest. “From the feedback we’ve received, the program was a great success.”

Register O’Donnell gave an overview of the Registry of Deeds, which is the principal office for real property records in Norfolk County, cataloging and housing more than 13.1 million land documents dating back to 1793.

“I welcome any time I can get out into the community and have the opportunity to speak with people about some issues that homeowners might face,” said Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell. “I was impressed by the audience engagement and truly grateful to have the chance to share some useful homeowner information with members from the Rotary Club of Quincy.”

Register O’Donnell discussed how The Registry of Deeds has made the genealogy research process easier through its History Comes Alive transcription program, where all the Registry documents from 1793 to 1900 are transcribed from old cursive writing into easy-to-read and print documents.

“As a preservationist, I am always interested in the conservation of archives and am impressed to learn of the critical and important purpose of the Registry of Deeds – to have taken on the massive undertaking of transcribing and digitizing land records and deeds for public access,” said Adams National Historical Park Superintendent Marianne Peak.

Register O’Donnell also talked about some of the modernization initiatives implemented at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds. These initiatives include the use of electronic recording, which is how the majority of land documents are recorded, and how a closing can take place in a lawyer’s office with the land documents to be recorded transmitted to the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds.

“I was equally interested to learn about the efforts being made by the Registry to ensure state-of the-art technology is implemented to maintain legal land recordkeeping for present day use – a constant and growing responsibility, to meet the demands and needs of the community and general public,” said Superintendent Peak.

Register O’Donnell reminded attendees about the importance of filing a mortgage discharge after their mortgage has been paid off. A discharge is a document (typically one or two pages) issued by the lender, usually with a title such as “Discharge of Mortgage” or “Satisfaction of Mortgage.” When a mortgage has been paid off, a mortgage discharge document needs to be recorded with the Registry of Deeds to clear a homeowner’s property title relative to that loan.

“In some cases,” noted Register O’Donnell, “discharges are filed directly by banks or settlement closing attorneys with the Registry as part of a property sale or as a result of a refinancing transaction. In other instances, the mortgage discharge is sent to the property owner, who then becomes responsible for making sure the document is recorded. Whether or not a discharge is recorded by the lending institution or the individual property owner, it is important that the property owner makes sure all necessary documents have been recorded at the Registry of Deeds.”

This speaking event for the Rotary Club of Quincy is part of a broader effort to work with various communities and organizations throughout Norfolk County to make it easier for residents to have convenient access to the services offered at the Registry of Deeds.

Concluding his remarks, O’Donnell stated, “I first want to thank the members of the Rotary Club of Quincy for attending the event. They asked great questions, and their attendance was greatly appreciated. I also want to thank Rotary Club of Quincy President Margaret Laforest and Quincy Rotarian Dolly DiPesa for inviting me to speak.”

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.