Header image  

Francis "Mickey" Roache Registar

 

 
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

I lost my deed. What should I do?

What is the difference between recorded land and registered land?

What do I have to do after I pay off my mortgage?

I want to add a name to my deed. How do I do that?

My spouse died and his name is on the deed. Do I have to record a new deed?

I married and my deed has my maiden name. Do I have to change the deed?

How do I know if there are liens affecting my property and how would I remove them?

What is a life estate?

Can I draw up my own deed?

How do I find my deed?

How current are the records?

Can I record document in person?

Can I record a document by mail?

Are all plans indexed in the Registry?

How do I find a plan that is listed as "end of book"?

How do I get a copy of my plot plan?


 

I lost my deed. What should I do?

It should not be a problem. You don't need an original deed to sell or refinance property. You can obtain a copy from the Registry of Deeds or download it from our on-line site. A certified copy of your deed has the same legal effect as the original. To obtain a certified copy, you can come to the Registry and look up your recording information, that is, the book and page number (if recorded land) or document number (if registered land) of your deed. The Registry staff will be happy to assist you.

 

What is the difference between recorded land and registered land?

Recorded land is the most common type of ownership in Suffolk District (county). Documents affecting real estate, such as deeds and mortgages, if properly prepared and legally acceptable, are recorded at the Registry of Deeds in chronological order and assigned a book and page number. They are then indexed by grantor, grantee, document type and address. The documents affecting a particular piece of property are searched, analyzed and examined by a party seeking to determine the legal status of the ownership rights in the property. This status is referred to as the title to the property. In Suffolk District, the title search is usually done by a trained examiner or attorney hired by the buyer or buyer's lender. Registered land comprises about twenty percent of the property in Suffolk District. Under this system (sometimes referred to as the "Torrens" system) the Massachusetts Land Court has adjudicated and decreed the status of the title. Thereafter, subsequent owners of registered land are issued numbered certificates describing the property and noting any encumbrances (such as mortgages) or rights affecting the property. Documents filed in the registered section are assigned document numbers, not book and page numbers. The criteria for filing documents affecting registered land are much stricter than those affecting recorded land.

 

What do I have to do after I pay off my mortgage?

Once you pay off your mortgage a discharge document is prepared by the lender. A discharge makes reference to the borrower's name, the property address and the book and page number (if recorded land) or document number (if registered land) of the recorded mortgage and states that the mortgage is discharged or satisfied. It is signed by an official of the lender and notarized. The original discharge is often sent to the borrower but it is sometimes sent directly to the Registry of Deeds. If it is sent to you, you must bring (or Mail) the original to the Registry with a check for $75.00 payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

 

I want to add a name to my deed. How do I do that?

You will have to prepare, execute and record a new deed. It is advisable to obtain a copy of your deed and bring it to your attorney for preparation of the new deed. The attorney should explain the different types of tenancy that would be noted on the deed. We do not have deed forms at the Registry.

 

My spouse died and his name is on the deed. Do I have to record a new deed?

Usually you will not have to record a new deed. If you owned the property with your spouse as tenants by the entirety or as joint tenants, the property passes directly to you upon the death of your spouse. You should record a certified copy of your spouse's death certificate and an affidavit regarding estate tax pursuant to Mass. General Laws Chapter 65C, Section 14 (if you have a question about the estate tax, consult an attorney or accountant). The death certificate and affidavit should include your title reference (the book and page or document number of the deed to you and your spouse).

 

I married and my deed has my maiden name. Do I have to change the deed?

You will not have to change the deed unless you want to change your tenancy. For example, you may have owned the property as a tenant in common with your fiancé and after the marriage you may want to change to a tenancy by the entirety. If you do not need to change the tenancy, you will only have to refer to both your married and maiden name in a deed when you sell the property (for example, "Mary Smith, formerly known as Mary Jones... grant to...").

 

How do I know if there are liens affecting my property and how would I remove them?

You can come to the Registry (or check on-line) and look up your name in the grantor index to see if any liens have been filed against you or the property. There are many different types of liens, for example, mechanic's liens, attachments, executions, municipal tax takings and federal or Massachusetts income tax liens. Generally, once the lien has been paid off, the party imposing the lien would have to prepare a release of lien and the release document should be recorded. There may be specific recording requirements for the release document so you may want to check with your attorney or call the Registry to see what type of release is required.

 

What is a life estate?

A life estate is an interest in property created by a deed, will or trust that entitles the holder to specific rights in the property for the term of the holder's life. Such rights may include the right to live in, use and/or collect income from the property. The document that creates the life estate should be reviewed to determine the extent of the rights. The creation of a life estate may have estate-planning and tax implications and benefits. A real estate or estate-planning attorney would be able to provide more information on the benefits of creating a life estate.

Can I draw up my own deed?

Yes, but deeds are legally binding documents that affect the rights of the parties to the deed and also their heirs, successors and assigns. The Registry is a recording agency only and cannot make out deeds or answer questions pertaining to legal matters. Deed forms are not available at the Registry. We strongly advise you consult an attorney.

How do I find my deed?

You can perform a search for your deed at the Registry or by accessing our website, under document search. The registry indexes names as either Grantor (seller) or grantee (buyer). to find your deed you will to enter your name as a grantee.. The computer will give you a book and page reference where you will find a copy of your deed. The copy can be printed from the website or obtain at the rergistry.

How current are the records?

Information is available to the public as soon as its is entered into the system at the registry. Indexing and images are uploaded to the web server at night for the next day.

Can I record in person?

You can record a document at the Registry Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00am and 4:00pm. You must have the original document and a check for the appropriate recording fee. Fee schedule Please make your check payable to "Commonwealth of Massachusetts" (please include a phone number on your check), and a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Can I record a document by mail?

Yes you can. Mail the original document, your check for the correct recording fee payable to "Commonwealth of Massachusetts" (please include a phone number on your check), and a self-addressed stamped envelope to Suffolk Registry of Deeds . Fee schedule

How do I get a copy of my plot plan?

A plot plan, sometimes referred to as a "mortgage inspection" plan, is generally prepared in connection with a refinance of the property. It shows the "foot print" of the building on the lot and denotes the sideline and frontage distances. These types of plans are drawn, usually by measuring tape and not with a surveyor's instrument, to certify that the property is in compliance with the zoning laws. This type of plan is fine for financing purposes but it may be unreliable. Mortgage inspection plans are not considered sufficient to determine exact lot line locations. Another type of plot plan, referred to as a "certified" plot plan, is based on a more thorough examination and re-tracing based on a field survey and the description of the property deed and the deeds to abutting properties. This may be the plan requested by the city or town building inspector. If you are not able to obtain such a plan from a prior owner, you can hire a professional surveyor to prepare one for you. The building inspector may be able to recommend a surveyor or you can find one in a business telephone directory. The plans at the Registry of Deeds are not considered plot plans.

Are all plans indexed in the Registry?

No. Registered Land Plans and Recorded Land Plans digitalized are indexed starting from 2005 to present. All indexed and unindexed plans can be viewed at the Registry, but only the Recorded Land Plans can be viewed on the website.

Unindexed plans you must know the book and page of the plan that you are looking for. That information is located in your deed. Not all properities have plans. We strongly suggest that you type only the book of the plan. Then scroll down to find the page that comes close to the page that you are looking for. We find from experince that the pages of the plans in the deeds are off a number or too.

How do I find a plan that is listed as "end of book" for the page ?

Our in house computer search system does not accept letters in the page dialog box for plans. The plans department came up with a solution acceptable for the searching of plans having the end of book as its page. We assigned the number 999 for the end of book as its page number. Th same numbering system is also used on our website.

 

 


DISCLAIMER: The Suffolk District Registry of Deeds presents the information on this website as a service to the public. Although we have tried to ensure that the information contained herein is accurate, it is not intended to be construed as legal advice. Determining the reliability and accuracy of the information contained herein is the responsibility of the user. The Registers' office makes no warranty or guarantee with respect to the content of this site and shall not be liable for errors or for any damages related to the use of the information contained herein. This information is for reference only
| | | Back to Registry of Deeds Home | Top of Page