Sunday, August 29, 2010

Registry of Deeds Technology Advisory Committee Meeting

The Registries of Deeds of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are required to meet each year with the Registry of Deeds Technology Advisory Committee members to report on the status of the Registries of Deeds and the use of the Registry of Deeds Technology Funds. The meeting will be hosted by the Secretary of the Commonwealth on Monday, August 30, 2010, in Boston. The Worcester District Registry of Deeds will present the following to the Technology Advisory Committee:

For Fiscal Year 2010, the Worcester District Registry of Deeds collected $25,970,229.90 in total income. The Fiscal Year 2010 budget for the Registry of Deeds was $2,345,612.00. For Fiscal Year 2011, the budget of the Registry of Deeds has been reduced by $117,281.00 to $2,228,331.00.

The Registry of Deeds is targeting October 4, 2010 for the launch of the Electronic Recording Massachusetts Portal Pilot Project. Additionally, the Registry of Deeds has digitized the Grantor indicies from 1731 to 1965. The Grantor indicies will be available online and in house in a phone-book directory format with links to the corresponding images.

The Registry of Deeds future goals include:
  • Implementation of an automatic redacting system at the time of recording
  • Restoration and Preservation of Historical Records
  • Implementation of property fraud alert software

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Changes to

Several changes that should dramatically enhance the performance of the new Masslandrecords,com search have been implemented. We encourage all users to use the new version in the upcoming weeks and give us your feedback via phone or email. The old version will continue to remain on the site should you experience any problems with the new version. Click here to access the new version of

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Law Enacted in Response to National Lumber

In 2005, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts decided a case, National Lumber Co. v. Lombardi, in which the Court held that documents sent to Registries of Deeds via mail are considered recorded the moment they are received by the Registry. This decision was problematic as these documents are in actuality recorded into the Registries' computer systems over the course of the day they are received.

Yesterday, the Governor signed Senate Bill 2549 into law to rectify this situation. Under the new law, "No instrument received by the register shall be considered recorded until the register assigns to the instrument an instrument number, or book and page number, as the case may be." This means that once this law goes into effect, documents are not officially recorded until entered into the Registry's computer database. Click here to read the full text of the new law.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

E-Recording Launch Date: October 4th

The Registry of Deeds is proud to announce that the launch date for the new E-Recording Portal is scheduled for October 4th. Please check back often as we will continue to post information about the portal, including how to become a submitter.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Register's Update

The Registry of Deeds is currently working on two projects that will allow users to both access records and record documents remotely.
  • Work is continuing on the E-Recording Portal. The current target date for rolling out the portal is September 30, 2010.
  • Grantor Indices from 1731 – 1960 have been scanned into a database. We are currently waiting for the arrival of four books that have been rescanned in order to improve the quality of the images. We anticipate having these indicies online in a telephone directory style shortly.

As these projects move towards completion, we are continuing to explore these future improvements
  • We recently tested an expanded and improved historical index search system with Foveonics Imaging Technologies, Inc. This system allows quicker and greater search capabilities then our proposed system. It also allows us to redact our older indices while preserving the redacted information in a secured database.
  • We have studied the installation of E-Recording kiosks being used by Maricopa County (Phoenix) Arizona. These kiosks could be placed in a library, Town Hall or Court House to expedite recordings by the general public with payments using credit or debit cards.
In the last fiscal year, the Registry reduced staff by five positions due to budget cuts, while the volume of our work began to increase, with the total number of documents recorded reaching 153,689. The Registry operated with a budget of $2,345,612.00 and returned $25,970,229.90 of revenue to the Commonwealth.

The Worcester Registry of Deeds always welcomes your opinions and suggestions. Please send them to

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Land Court to Relocate

Chief Justice for Administration & Management Robert A. Mulligan has announced that efforts are underway to relocate the Land Court Department of the Massachusetts Trial Court to the Suffolk County Courthouse at Pemberton Square. Relocation of the Land Court, which currently occupies private leased space at 226 Causeway Street in Boston, will realize annual savings exceeding $2.7 million.

"The size of the Trial Court’s FY11 budget gap requires aggressive action on the Land Court lease, one of the largest leases in our portfolio," said Chief Justice Mulligan. "The move of an entire court department reflects the unprecedented actions necessary given our appropriation this year. We plan to relocate the court by the end of December to maximize available savings. The Legislature has provided the Trial Court with the authority to manage lease expenses in addressing the significant budget shortfall."

Chief Justice Mulligan also commended those affected by the move. "I want to recognize the extraordinary cooperation of those who work in the Land Court, the Superior Court and the Office of Community Corrections to ensure that this relocation is accomplished smoothly and successfully," he said.

"The entire Trial Court is under pressure to cut costs and deliver services," said Land Court Chief Justice Karyn Scheier. "Wherever the Land Court is located, we will work hard to honor our long history and serve the real estate bar and the public at the highest level possible, given our resources."

The Trial Court Relocation Committee included termination of the Land Court lease among its recently announced preliminary recommendations, which were based on a review of all 103 courthouse facilities. The Court will move into space in the Suffolk County High Rise Courthouse now occupied by several programs operated by the Office of Community Corrections.

The Trial Court’s FY11 budget stands at $534.8 million, which compares with an FY10 budget of $559.5 million and FY09 initial appropriation of $605.1 million. An absolute hiring freeze in the Trial Court has resulted in the loss of more than 700 employees since 2008.

The Land Court also has been severely impacted by the surge in foreclosures generated by the fiscal crisis and by the hiring freeze, which puts the Court below 50 percent of optimal staffing levels. The Court, comprised of seven judges with statewide jurisdiction, received more than 26,000 filings in FY09.