Indexing Standards

-A A +A

Indexing Standards

Indexing Standards - Full Text

MASSACHUSETTS REGISTERS AND ASSISTANT REGISTERS OF DEEDS ASSOCIATION
DEED INDEXING STANDARDS FOR THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
Deed Indexing Standards (Version 4.0) For the Commonwealth of Massachusetts January 1, 2008

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

ATTACHMENT – DISSOLUTION OF (MGL c.223, s.132) ATTACHMENT - EXPIRATION OF (MGL c.223, s.114A) ATTACHMENT OF REAL ESTATE (MGL c.223, ss.63, 64) CLERK’S CERTIFICATE (MGL c.184, s.16)

DIVORCE DECREE (MGL c.183, s.44) DRUG FORFEITURES (MGL c.94C, s.47)

LEVY MADE VOID BY OPERATION OF LAW LIS PENDENS (MGL c.184, s.15)

PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT (MGL c.184, s17A) TENANTS BY THE ENTIRETY

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

First adopted on January 1, 2000, the Deed Indexing Standards for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have gone through several revisions by the Massachusetts Registers and Assistant Registers of Deeds Association. The most significant change to this version is the adoption of new Document Formatting Standards (Section 10 on page 13). The Association’s intent is to record documents, not to reject them because of hyper-technical interpretations of these new Formatting Standards.  Still, we cannot forget that perhaps the most important responsibility of the Register of Deeds is to ensure that the records created for the use of future generations are legible – so documents presented for recording that do not meet our standards for reproduction will be rejected.

 

As for the overall effort at standardization, what was said in the introduction to the last version of this document remains true today:

 

Each of the following Standards reflects the practice of the great majority of the Massachusetts Registries of Deeds. Despite the best efforts of the registries, however, universal acceptance of and compliance with these Standards is a practical impossibility. Different computer systems and capabilities and hundreds of years of local precedent cannot be ignored or erased overnight. Recognizing this, and acknowledging that we have a responsibility to fully inform registry users of how local practices deviate from these Standards, each registry should develop and make available to the public a Local Supplement to the Deed Indexing Standards that clearly explains how that registry’s practices differ from these statewide Standards.

 

Finally, if you have any questions or comments about these standards, please direct them to Richard P. Howe Jr., the Register of Deeds at the Middlesex North District by telephone (978/322-9000), mail (360 Gorham Street, Lowell MA 01852) or by email (richard.howe@sec.state.ma.us)..

 

 

 

1. NAMES

 

1-1 ABBREVIATIONS
The following words must always be abbreviated as shown unless the word is the first of a name in which case the word is spelled out.
And                                         &
Company                                CO
Companies                             CO
Corporation                           CORP
Department                            DEPT
Incorporated                          INC
Limited                                   LTD
Limited Liability Company LLC Limited Liability Partnership LLP Limited Partnership               LP
 
1-2 ABBREVIATIONS – ADDRESSES AS NAMES
No portion of a street name that is used as the name of an entity shall be abbreviated.
“First Street Realty Trust” FIRST STREET REALTY TRUST
 
1-3 ALSO KNOWN AS
All names used to identify a person shall be entered in the index. Descriptive terms such as AKA or FKA shall be omitted.
 
“Jane Smith fka Jane Simpson” SMITH JANE   
and SIMPSON JANE  
 
1-4 BUSINESS USING HUMAN NAME
A human name used as the name of a business should be entered in the order presented.
“Jane Smith Engineering Company” JANE SMITH ENGINEERING CO
 
1-5 DEGREES & CERTIFICATIONS
Words or abbreviations indicating degrees or certifications (CPA, MD, ESQ) shall be omitted.
“Jane Smith, MD” SMITH JANE
 
 
1-6 ESTATES
The name of an estate shall be indexed as a human name with the suffix extension (EST) following the first name.
“Estate of Jane Smith” SMITH JANE EST
 
1-7 FIRST & MIDDLE NAMES
The first name and middle name or initial, whichever appears on the document, shall be entered in the FIRST NAME field of the index. Initials shall not be followed by periods.  Multiple initials shall be separated by a space.
“Jane R. Smith” SMITH JANE R
“Jane R. P. Smith” SMITH JANE R P
“Jane Rodman Smith” SMITH JANE RODMAN
 
1-8 GOVERNMENT NAMES – CITIES & TOWNS
Any combination of words meant to identify a city or town (or an agency of such city or town) within the Commonwealth is entered as [NAME OF CITY] CITY followed by the name of the agency, if any.  Words such as Agency, Bureau, Department, Commissioner or Director are omitted.
-City of Lowell LOWELL CITY
-Groton Board of Appeals GROTON TOWN APPEALS
 
1-9 GOVERNMENT NAMES – COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
Any combination of words meant to identify the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or one of its agencies is entered as MASSACHUSETTS COMM followed by the name of the agency, if any.  Words such as Agency, Bureau, Department, Commissioner or Director are omitted.
-Commonwealth of Massachusetts
MASSACHUSETTS COMM
-Massachusetts Department of Revenue
MASSACHUSETTS COMM REVENUE
 
1-10 GOVERNMENT NAMES – UNITED STATES
Any combination of words meant to identify the United States of America or one of its agencies is entered as USA followed by the name of the agency, if any. Words such as Agency, Bureau, Department, Commissioner or Director are omitted.
-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Indexed as USA Housing Urban Development
-United States Treasury Department Indexed as USA Treasury
 
1-11 HYPHENATED BUSINESS NAMES
When the name of a business contains a hyphen, retain the hyphen when entering the name in the index. (See 1-13 “Hyphenated Names”).
 
1-12 HYPHENATED NAMES
Two or more words separated by a hyphen are treated as one word.
“Jane Smith-Simpson” SMITH-SIMPSON JANE
“1-800-East-West-Mortgage” 1-800-EAST-WEST-MORTGAGE
First Co-operative Bank FIRST CO-OPERATIVE BANK
 
1-13 PUNCTUATION MARKS IN NAMES
Except for hyphens, no punctuation marks shall be used when entering a name in the index.
 
“E*Trade” ETRADE   
“Amazon.com AMAZONCOM   
O’Brien, Jeffrey OBRIEN JEFFREY  
 
1-14 LINEAGE SUFFIX
Any lineage suffix should be entered after the first name and middle name/initial.
 
“John Smith Jr” SMITH JOHN JR   
“John R Smith Jr” SMITH JOHN R JR   
“John R Smith III” SMITH JOHN R III  
 
1-15 MERS OR MORTGAGE ELECRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEM
Should be indexed as MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEM INC. The name of the bank or mortgage company involved may be entered in the index but is not required to be.
 
1-16 MOUNT OR MT
A last name that contains Mount or Mt should be entered as two words in the last name field.  The name should be entered in the index the way it appears on the document.
 
“John Mount Vernon” MOUNT VERNON JOHN   
“John Mt Vernon” MT VERNON JOHN  
 
1-17 MULTIPLE LAST NAMES – NO HYPHEN
Multiple word surnames shall not be assumed. Only the last word in a person’s name should be entered in the last name field.
“Jane Smith Simpson” SIMPSON JANE SMITH
 
1-18 NON TRADITIONAL NAMES
Non traditional names shall be entered as presented with the last word as the last name.
 
“To So” SO TO   
“Aime Jean Ricot Bien BIEN AIME JEAN RICOT   
“Red Elk” ELK RED  
 
 
1-19 NUMBERS IN NAMES
A number spelled alphabetically, an Arabic number or a Roman numeral shall all be entered as they appear on the document.
Five Broadway Realty Trust FIVE BROADWAY REALTY TRUST 5 Broadway Realty Trust 5 BROADWAY REALTY TRUST
V Broadway Realty Trust V BROADWAY REALTY TRUST
 
1-20 PREFIXES
A last name presented with an obvious prefix should be entered as one word without spaces or punctuations.
 
“Anthony La Crosse” LACROSSE ANTHONY   
“Jane O’Brien” OBRIEN JANE  
 
1-21 SAINT OR ST
A last name that contains Saint or St should be entered as two words in the last name field. The name should be entered in the index the way it appears on the document.
 
“James Saint Paul” SAINT PAUL JAMES   
“James St Paul” ST PAUL JAMES  
 
1-22 THE
Omit “The” when it appears as the first word of a name.
“The Gotham Group” GOTHAM GROUP
 
1-23 TRUSTS & TRUSTEES
A party designated as a TRUSTEE shall be indexed in accordance with these standards with the suffix extension TR depicting the status as trustee added after the first name and middle initial (if any) in the First Name field.  The name of the trust shall also be entered in the index.
“John Smith, Trustee of Jamestown Realty Trust”
SMITH JOHN TR
JAMESTOWN REALTY TRUST
 
1-24 VAN
Unless it clearly appears that the word “Van” is a person’s first or middle name, “Van” shall be treated as part of the person’s last name, with “Van” and any other last name being entered in the last name field of the index as two separate words. “Vincent van Gogh” VAN GOGH VINCENT

Back to Top

2. SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS

 

   

2-1 DOCUMENT PRESENTED FOR RECORDING
No document containing a social security number shall be accepted for recording. This rule shall not apply to state or federal tax liens or to releases of state or federal tax liens.  (Standard 2-1 was made effective July 1, 2005).
 
 
2-2 DOCUMENT PREVIOUSLY RECORDED
Anytime a social security number is discovered in a previously recorded document, the registry of deeds shall take such steps as are necessary to redact such numbers, however, the registry of deeds shall retain a copy of the original, un-redacted record in a non-public file. This rule shall not apply to state or federal tax liens or releases of state or federal tax liens.

 

Back to Top

 

3. ADDRESSES

 

   

3-1 ABBREVIATIONS
The following words must always be abbreviated when used as part of an address. (But see ABBREVIATIONS – ADDRESS AS NAME)
Avenue AVE
Boulevard BLV
Drive DR
Lane LN
Parkway PKW
Place PL
Road RD
Square SQ
Street ST
Terrace TER
Turnpike TPK
 
3-2 CONDOMINIUM UNIT NUMBERS
A condominium unit number is part of a property’s address and shall be entered into the index.  Check with individual registries to determine which field of the index contains the unit number: some registries enter the unit number in the street name field following the name of the street; other registries place the unit number in the “description” field.
 
3-3 PROPERTY ADDRESS ON FIRST PAGE OF DOCUMENT
The address (street number, street name, town and condominium unit number if applicable) of the property on a deed, a mortgage, or a discharge of mortgage shall be typed or printed clearly in a prominent location on the first page of the document.
 
3-4 DEEDS – GRANTEE MAILING ADDRESS REQUIRED
The mailing address of the GRANTEE on a deed must be clearly stated on the document.

 

Back to Top

 

4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 

4-1 DOCUMENTS REQUIRING ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The document types listed in Appendix A (“Document Types Requiring Acknowledgement”) shall not be recorded unless they are notarized in accordance with Indexing Standard 4-2.
 
4-2 NOTARY PUBLIC RULES
Failure to comply with the strict requirements of Executive Order 455 (03-13) shall not prevent a document from being recorded.  A non-conforming acknowledgement purported to be taken within Massachusetts must contain, at a minimum, the original signature and printed or typed name of the officer making the acknowledgement, the expiration date of the officer’s commission and some language that indicates that the parties intended such signature to constitute an acknowledgement.
 
4-3 ONE OR MORE GRANTORS
The acknowledgement of a deed or other written instrument required to be acknowledged shall be by one or more of the parties signing the document.
 
4-4 OUT OF STATE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
An acknowledgment made outside of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts but within any state, territory, district or dependency of the United States shall be made (in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws chapter 183, section 33) by:
 
1) a justice of the peace, notary public, or magistrate of the state in which the acknowledgment is made;
 
2) a commissioner appointed therefor by the governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; or
 
3) any other officer of the state in which the acknowledgment is made provided that a certificate of authority of said officer in the form prescribed by M.G.L. c. 183, s. 33 is attached thereto.
 
To be recorded in Massachusetts, such an acknowledgement does not require the seal of the Notary Public taking the acknowledgement.
 
4-5 OUT OF COUNTRY ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
An acknowledgment made outside of the United States or any dependency thereof shall be made (in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws chapter 183, section 33) by:
 
1) a justice of the peace, notary public, or magistrate of the country in which the acknowledgment is made;
 
2) a commissioner appointed therefor by the governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;
 
3) or before an ambassador, minister, consul, vice consul, charge d’affaires or consular officer or agent of the United States accredited to the country where the acknowledgment is made and if made before an ambassador or other official of the United States, it shall be certified by him under his seal of office.

 

Back to Top

 

5. TRUSTS & TRUSTEES

 

5-1 RECORD OF TRUST (c.203, s.2)
“If a trust concerning land is created or declared by [a written instrument signed by the party creating or declaring the trust], the recording of the instrument in the registry of deeds for the district where the land lies shall be equivalent to actual notice to every person claiming under a conveyance, attachment or execution thereafter made or levied.”
 
5-2 TRUSTEE’S CERTIFICATE (c.184, s.35)
A certificate sworn to by a person who, from the records of the registry of deeds, appears to be a trustee and which certifies as to (a) the identity of the trustees or the beneficiaries of the trust; (b) the authority of the trustees to act with respect to real estate owned by the trust; or (c) the existence or nonexistence of a fact which constitutes a condition precedent to acts by the trustees, shall be binding on all trustees and the trust estate in favor of a purchaser or other person relying in good faith on the certificate.

 

Back to Top

 

6. PLANS

 

6-1 SUBDIVISION CONTROL FILE (c.41, s.81X)
Each registry of deeds shall maintain a “Subdivision Control File” in which shall be entered all notices related to the Subdivision Control Act sent by the boards within a city or town responsible for the implementation and enforcement of said act, including copies of the rules and regulations of such boards, a list of all board members and a list of individuals who are authorized to sign “Approval Not Required” plans. It is the responsibility of the respective boards of each city or town to forward this information to the registry of deeds.
 
6-2 MUNICIPAL LIEN CERTIFICATES & SUBDIVISION PLANS (c.60, s.23)
No definitive subdivision plan (i.e. any subdivision plan which DOES NOT contain the phrase “Approval not required” over the signature(s) of the applicable
 
Planning Board) shall be accepted for recording unless it is accompanied by a municipal lien certificate indicating that all taxes, assessments, and charges then assessed against the land shown on the plan have been paid in full.
 
 
 
6-3 CONDOMINIUM UNIT PLANS (c.183A, s.9)
In accordance with MGL c. 183A, s. 9, the first deed of each condominium unit must have attached to it a copy of the floor plan of the unit being conveyed and of the immediately adjacent units.  Such plan shall also state that the plan fully and accurately depicts the layout of the unit, its location, dimensions, approximate area, main entrance and immediate common area to which it has access. This statement must be signed by a registered architect, registered professional engineer or registered land surveyor. Notwithstanding the above, the registry of deeds shall make no determination of whether a deed is the first deed for that condominium unit.
 
6-4 PLANS AS ATTACHMENTS TO OTHER DOCUMENTS
A copy of a plan that is to be recorded as an attachment to another document must be on white paper that is no smaller than 8.5” by 11” and no larger than 8.5” by 14”. Plans recorded in accordance with this section are exempt from the Plan Regulations contained in Appendix B.  A document with a plan attached shall not be considered to be a “multiple document” for the calculation of the recording fee for that document.
 
6-5 PLAN REGULATIONS
See Appendix B.
 
6-6 REQUIREMENTS FOR RECORDING OF PLANS
Except for a plan recorded as an attachment to another document in accordance with Indexing Standard 6-4, no plan shall be recorded UNLESS it contains a statement signed by a registered land surveyor that no new lines have been drawn on said plan OR UNLESS:
(1) The plan is endorsed by the Planning Board that such plan has been approved by said Planning Board AND a certificate of the clerk of the city or town stating that no notice of appeal was received during the twenty days after approval of said plan;
(2) The plan is endorsed by the Planning Board or its designee that approval of the plan is not required; or
(3) The plan is accompanied by a certificate of the clerk of the city or town that it is a plan which has been approved by reason of the failure of the Planning Board to act.
 
6-7 AMENDED PLANS (c.41, s.81X)
No register of deeds shall accept for record a notice of modification, amendment or rescission of approval of a plan of a subdivision unless such notice contains a statement by the planning board that such modification, amendment or rescission
 
does not affect any lot or rights appurtenant thereto in such subdivision which lot was conveyed or mortgaged in good faith and for valuable consideration subsequent to the approval of the subdivision plan.

 

Back to Top

 

7. RECORDING PROCEDURES

 

7-1 ATTORNEY AFFIDAVIT
MGL chapter 183, section 5B:  “An affidavit made by a person claiming to have personal knowledge of the facts therein stated and containing a certificate by an attorney at law that the facts stated in the affidavit are relevant to the title to certain land and will be of benefit and assistance in clarifying the chain of title may be filed for record and shall be recorded in the registry of deeds where the land or any part thereof lies.”  Neither this nor any other affidavit needs to be notarized (although it should be signed under the penalties of perjury). Also, for indexing and fee calculation, an affidavit of this type should not be treated as a multiple document (i.e., an affidavit and a certificate), but only as an affidavit.
 
7-2 CERTIFIED COPIES – HOW RECORDED
Copies certified by another registry of deeds, a court, or a governmental entity at the federal, state, county or municipal level may be recorded at the registry of deeds.  If the certification appears on a separate page, that page shall be treated as another page of the document (i.e., a single piece of paper that contains the printed document on one side and the certification on the other should be considered to be a two-page document).
 
7-3 COPIES (NON-CERTIFIED) PRESENTED FOR RECORDING
The registry of deeds shall not record photocopies of documents unless certified in accordance with Indexing Standard 7-2.
 
7-4 ERRONEOUS RECORDING OF REGISTERED LAND
The customer is solely responsible for recording (“registering”) registered land documents in the correct section of the registry of deeds.  While registry personnel will make every effort to record documents received by mail in the correct section of the registry of deeds, this is only a courtesy and the registry of deeds bears no responsibility for recording mailed in documents in the correct registry section.
 
7-5 FOREIGN LANGUAGE DOCUMENTS
No document written in a language other than English shall be recorded unless it is accompanied by a certified translation into English. In such a case, the document to be recorded shall consist of (1) the English language translation with signatures typed and preceded by “/s/” to indicate a signature; (2) a certification of the accuracy of the translation, signed by the translator and acknowledged; and
(3) the original foreign language document.
 
7-6 GRANTOR NAMES
On a deed or mortgage, only the names of those individuals or entities who have signed the document shall be placed in the Grantor Index.  For example, if the grantor clause on a mortgage said “John Smith and Mary Smith” granted the mortgage, but only John Smith signed it, then only John Smith’s name would be placed in the index. Conversely, if the grantor clause only mentions John Smith but the mortgage is signed by both John Smith and Mary Smith, then both names should be entered in the index.
 
7-7 LIS PENDENS
No Lis Pendens (i.e. a memorandum indicating that a pending legal action constitutes a claim of a right to title to real property or the use and occupation thereof or the buildings thereon) shall be accepted for recording unless such memorandum (in accordance with M.G.L. chapter 184, section 15)
 
1) contains the names of the parties to the proceeding, the court in which it is pending, the date of the writ or other commencement thereof, the name of the town where the affected real property lies and a description of such real property sufficiently accurate for identification;
 
2) has been endorsed by a justice of the court before which the action is pending; and
 
3) is accompanied by an affidavit to the effect that the moving party has served notice of the allowance of such motion by certified mail addressed to all other parties prior to the recording of the memorandum.
 
7-8 MULTIFUNCTIONAL DOCUMENTS
A document that accomplishes more than one function shall be treated as a multiple document. A separate recording fee will be charged and index entry made for each separate function accomplished by the document.  For example, a
single assignment that assigns different mortgages executed by different people on different properties to one assignee is a multifunctional document and would be charged a separate recording fee and have separate index entries made for each mortgage assigned.
 
7-9 MULTIPLE DOCUMENTS – ATTACHED AS EXHIBITS
A document that is otherwise recordable on its own (or a photocopy of such a document) shall not be recorded as an attachment to another document but must be recorded separately. This rule does not apply to Affidavits filed in accordance with MGL chapter 183, section 5B. Examples of document combinations that would be prohibited by this practice include:
 
• Deed + 6D Certificate
• Deed + Trustee Certificate
• Deed + Vote
• Deed + Power of Attorney
• Deed + Death Certificate
• Mortgage + 6D Certificate
• Mortgage + Collateral Assignment of Rents & Leases
• Mortgage + Trustee Certificate
• Affidavit re Estate Tax + Death Certificate
 
The above list only illustrates frequent combinations.  It is not an exhaustive inventory of all possible examples of this practice. The one exception to this rule involves a chapter 183, section 5B affidavit which is intended to allow information that will clarify the chain of title to be recorded.  This type of affidavit is the appropriate method of attaching copies of documents that cannot be recorded on their own. The required attorney certification that the information is relevant provides a safeguard against this section being misused.
 
7-10 REDACTING PORTIONS OF DOCUMENTS
In accordance with MGL c. 66 & c. 4, the register of deeds shall have the authority to redact any information from any document found to be recorded or presented to be recorded which does no meet the requirements of these standards or any regulation or statute.
 
7-11 RE-RECORDING A DOCUMENT
The former practice of “re-recording” an original document to correct an error or omission is prohibited.

 

Back to Top

 

8. REGISTERED LAND

 

8-1 APPLICATION OF THESE STANDARDS TO REGISTERED LAND
These INDEXING STANDARDS shall apply to Registered Land as suggested methods of indexing documents.  Any time a conflict exists between these standards and Land Court Guidelines, policies, practices or statutes, the Land Court procedures shall be followed.

 

Back to Top

 

9. DEEDS EXCISE TAX

 

9-1 COMPUTATION OF TAX
Massachusetts imposes an excise tax upon the transfer of any deed, instrument or other writing whereby realty is conveyed to a purchaser. The excise is based upon the consideration given for the property and applies, whenever the consideration, exclusive of the value of any lien or encumbrance remaining on the property, is greater than $100. The tax is paid by the person making or signing the deed and is evidenced by a stamp affixed to it. The tax is $2.28 for each $500 or fraction of consideration.
 
 
 
9-2 MARTHA’S VINEYARD & NANTUCKET LAND BANK
Additional fees are assessed in Nantucket and Dukes Counties by their Land Bank Commissions.  To contact the Nantucket Land Bank Commission, go to www.nantucketlandbank.org or call 508-228-7240. To contact the Martha’s
 
Vineyard Land Bank Commission (Dukes County), go to http://www.mvlandbank.com/ or call 508-627-7141.
 
9-3 EFFECT OF LIEN OR ENCUMBRANCE
Where property is conveyed subject to existing encumbrances, the amount of the encumbrances is not taxable. In other words, if a property is purchased “subject to” an existing mortgage or if the buyer “assumes” an existing mortgage, the currently outstanding amount of that mortgage is deducted from the amount of consideration when calculating the excise tax. The drafter of the deed should state the full consideration (that is, the amount of the mortgage being assumed plus any money being paid to the seller) and the amount of the mortgage being assumed.  DOR Directive 88-18.
 
9-4 DEED IN LIEU OF FORECLOSURE
When a bank takes back a deed to property and cancels the mortgage debt in lieu of foreclosure, the consideration is the amount of the mortgage debt cancelled by the bank, plus any additional cash paid to the mortgagor. DOR Directive 88-18.
 
9-5 PARTITION OF JOINTLY HELD PROPERTY
When no party in partition of a joint tenancy receives a greater interest than he held before, no deeds excise is due. Where any party receives an interest in jointly owned property greater than his original undivided interest, there is a deeds excise imposed based on the consideration given for the excess value of the property. Where an interest in property is conveyed out to a third party, a deeds excise is due on the consideration paid for the portion conveyed. In each case where an excise is due, it is to be paid by the person making or signing the deed. DOR Directive 89-13.
 
9-6 TRANSFERS BY CERTAIN FEDERALLY SPONSORED CORPORATIONS
The deeds excise tax does not apply to transfers of realty by the RTC, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae.  The deeds excise tax cannot be imposed on the grantee of the written instrument where the grantor is one of these federally sponsored corporations.  DOR Directive 91-2.
 
9-7 TRANSFERS OF INTERESTS IN NOMINEE TRUSTS
Sales and transfers of beneficial interests in nominee trusts for consideration in excess of one hundred dollars are subject to the deeds excise tax. The excise stamps should be affixed to the assignments of beneficial interest, whether or not these documents are recorded.  DOR Directive 95-5.
 
9-8 REFUSAL TO RECORD
The register of deeds may refuse to record or register any deed, instrument or writing which does not have the stamps required by chapter 64D attached thereto. MGL c.64D, s.6B.

Back to Top

 

10. DOCUMENT FORMATTING STANDARDS

 

Documents recorded after January 1, 2008 must meet the following requirements:
 
1. Be on white paper of sufficient weight to reproduce in registry scanners.
 
2. All document pages and attachments must be on paper that is no larger than 8.5 inches by 14 inches.
 
3. Printing shall be on one side only; double-sided pages will not be accepted.
 
4. Documents that contain printing, writing or other markings must be sufficiently dark in appearance to be legibly reproduced on standard registry scanners.
 
5. All printing and writing on a document must be of sufficient size to be legibly reproduced on standard registry scanners.
 
6. Margins on all sides of all document pages must be of sufficient size to be legibly reproduced on standard registry scanners.
 
7. The first page of all documents must contain a “recording information area” in the upper right hand corner measuring three inches from the top edge of the document and three inches from the right edge of the document that is free from all writing or printing.
 
8. Documents that do not comply with Formatting Standard 7 above may still be recorded when attached to an official registry Document Cover Sheet or through the use of some other method adopted by the registry.

 

Back to Top

APPENDIX A

DOCUMENTS REQUIRING ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

 

The following types of instruments shall not be accepted for recording unless properly acknowledged in a manner authorized by Massachusetts General Laws chapter 183, section 30 and by these rules:

 

  1. Deeds (excepting conveyances from the United States); see MGL Chapter 183, sec. 29. The term “deeds” shall broadly construed to include all types of deeds, with or without covenants, including mortgage and easement deeds; also included are boundary line agreements, leases, terminations of leases, and notices of leases including assignments of leases, collateral or conditional assignment of leases, options to lease and assignments of same, options to purchase including assignments of same and deeds of trust, as opposed to declarations of trust.

 

  1. Purchase and Sale Agreements (MGL Chapter 184, sec. 17A)

 

  1. Discharges and Partial Releases (MGL Chapter 183, secs. 54, 54B, and 54C)

 

  1. Powers of Attorney (MGL Chapter 183, sec. 32)

 

  1. Homesteads and Releases of same (MGL Chapter 188)

 

  1. Receipts of federal revenues for succession taxes (MGL Chapter 36, sec. 16)

 

  1. Subdivision Covenant Releases and Clerk’s Certificates (MGL Chapter 41, sec. 81U)

 

  1. Tax Redemptions (MGL Chapter 60, sec. 62)

 

  1. Incorporation Certificates re Roman Catholic Church (MGL Chapter 68, sec. 44)

 

  1. Liens for failure to reimburse the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for removal of wharves or piers (MGL Chapter 91, sec 49B)

 

  1. Veteran’s Agent Liens and Discharges or Satisfactions thereof (MGL Chapter 115, sec. 5A)

 

  1. Dissolutions of attachments by plaintiff, or his executor, administrator or attorney of record (MGL Chapter 223, sec. 132)

 

  1. Notices or other instruments required or permitted to be recorded by MGL Chapter 254 (MGL Chapter 254, sec. 30)

 

  1. Release of Notice of Contract

 

  1. Planning Board Release

 

  1. Declaration of Trust

 

  1. Resignation of Trustee

 

  1. Release of Damages (General Releases)

 

  1. Certification of translation of foreign language document

 

  1. Instrument types not contained in this list shall be accepted for recording whether or not they are acknowledged.

 

Back to Top

APPENDIX B

 

PLAN REGULATIONS

 

  1. Size of Plan. Plan sizes shall be a minimum of eight and one-half inches by eleven inches (8 1/2" x 11") and a maximum of twenty-four inches by thirty-six inches (24" x 36")

 

  1. Plan Material. Plans being presented for recording shall be on linen or polyester film (“mylar”), single matte with a thickness of .003 mils1, and must have an opacity

so as to allow consistent computer scanning and Diazo and microfilm reproduction.

 

  1. Type of Ink. All plans shall be prepared using a compatible ink with excellent cohesiveness which will produce a permanent bond and result in a plan with long term durability. All signatures must be in black India ink or its equal.

 

  1. Plan Reproductions. Linen or polyester reproductions shall be accepted for recording provided they contain original signatures and comply with the other requirements for the recording of plans.

 

  1. Borders. Each plan shall have three quarter inch (3/4") borders.

 

  1. Size of Letters. The minimum letter size on plans presented for recording shall be one-eighth (1/8") if free-hand lettering is used and one-tenth inch (1/10") if lettering guides are used.

 

  1. Graphic Scale. Each plan presented for recording shall include a graphic scale.

 

  1. Recitations or Certifications. Each plan shall have an area reserved to receive planning board recitation or contain a surveyors certification as per Chapter 380, Acts of 1966 (G.L. c. 41, s. 81x).

 

  1. “Registry Square.” Each sheet of each plan shall have a three and one-half (3 1/2") square

 

  1. Certification Clause. Each plan must contain a certification clause signed by the person preparing the plan stating that he has conformed with the rules and regulations of the Registers of Deeds in preparing the plan.

 

  1. No Tape or Raised Print. No tape adhesion or the like shall be placed on any plan presented for recording or registration. Plans presented for recording shall not contain any raised print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 The language “.003 mils” is an apparent scrivener’s error in the regulations approved in 1988 which are understood to have established a thickness standard of three thousandths of an inch. The thickness should read “.003 inches” or “3 mils” which are the same thing. The above language will remain, however, until the regulations can be formally amended.

 

Back to Top

APPENDIX C

 

 

 

SOME RELEVANT STATUTES

 

Following are summaries and citations to a few of the many statutes that are relevant to land recording and registry operations.

 

ATTACHMENT – DISSOLUTION OF (MGL c.223, s.132)

An attachment shall be dissolved by a release signed and acknowledged by the plaintiff or by his executor, administrator or attorney of record and recorded in the registry of deeds, or by a certificate from the clerk of court in which the action was pending that the attachment has been dissolved or that the action has finally been determined.

 

ATTACHMENT - EXPIRATION OF (MGL c.223, s.114A)

An attachment shall expire by operation of law six years from the date of recording at the registry of deeds unless the register of deeds shall, within said period and at the written request of the plaintiff or his attorney, bring forward such attachment. The request to bring forward said attachment must be in writing and signed by the plaintiff or his attorney.  The request must be accompanied by the applicable recording fee and shall be recorded and indexed by the registry. Within six years of the date that such a request to bring forward was recorded, a second or subsequent request may also be recorded.

 

ATTACHMENT OF REAL ESTATE (MGL c.223, ss.63, 64)

The officer who makes an attachment of real estate shall deposit a certified copy of such attachment and so much of his return thereon as relates to the attachment in the registry of deeds for the district where the land lies.

 

CLERK’S CERTIFICATE (MGL c.184, s.16)

At any time after final judgment or a decree in favor of the defendant, or after the discontinuance, dismissal or other final disposition, the clerk of the court where such disposition is recorded shall upon demand give a certificate of the fact of such disposition.  Such clerk’s certificate may be recorded in the applicable registry of deeds.

 

DIVORCE DECREE (MGL c.183, s.44)

The recording of a duly certified copy of a divorce decree in the registry of deeds of the district where said real estate is situated, shall have the same force and effect as if a duly executed deed, conveyance or release had so been recorded. MGL c.183, s.44.  For example, if a decree of divorce orders the conveyance of real property, a certified copy of the divorce decree may be recorded in lieu of a deed. The recording fee for the divorce decree is $75.

 

 

DRUG FORFEITURES (MGL c.94C, s.47)

MGL c.94C, s.47 sets out the procedure to be followed for the forfeiture of real property (and other items) used in connection with violations of the state’s Controlled Substance Act.  Section 47 explains how to determine a court’s jurisdiction in such a case, the procedure to be followed, the type of notices and other documents that should be recorded at the registry of deeds, and the effect of the Declaration of Homestead on such matters.

 

LEVY MADE VOID BY OPERATION OF LAW

If a levy on execution shall not have been completed by set-off within six years from the date on which notice of the execution was deposited with the registry of deeds, the levy shall be void as to any land within such registry district unless within said six year period it shall be brought forward in such registry by written request of the plaintiff or his attorney which request shall indexed and recorded at said registry upon the payment of the applicable recording fee.

 

LIS PENDENS (MGL c.184, s.15)

No Lis Pendens (i.e. a memorandum indicating that a pending legal action constitutes a claim of a right to title to real property or the use and occupation thereof or the buildings thereon) shall be accepted for recording unless such memorandum (in accordance with M.G.L. chapter 184, section 15)
 
4) contains the names of the parties to the proceeding, the court in which it is pending, the date of the writ or other commencement thereof, the name of the town where the affected real property lies and a description of such real property sufficiently accurate for identification;
 
5) has been endorsed by a justice of the court before which the action is pending; and
 
6) is accompanied by an affidavit to the effect that the moving party has served notice of the allowance of such motion by certified mail addressed to all other parties prior to the recording of the memorandum.

PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT (MGL c.184, s17A)

No purchase and sale agreement shall be recorded in any registry of deeds unless such agreement is acknowledged by the parties agreeing to sell such real estate or one of them. MGL c.184, s.17A.

 

TENANTS BY THE ENTIRETY

A deed that conveys title to two individuals as Tenants by the Entirety may be recorded even when there is no mention of “husband and wife” or “married to each other” or similar language.

Back to top

For More Information Contact:

Plymouth County Registry of Deeds
50 Obery St Plymouth MA 02360
Tel: 508-830-9200
FAX: 508-830-9221
Internet: admin@plymouthdeeds.org