New Legislation Enables Massachusetts Jurisdictions to Electronically Record Land Court DocumentsPROVO, Utah, April 27, 2017
Simplifile, a leading provider of real estate document collaboration and recording technologies for lenders, settlement agents, and counties, announced that it is now electronically recording Land Court documents in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the first time.
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, about 80 percent of real property is “recorded land” whose record keeping is conducted by the recorded land department. The remaining 20 percent of real property, called “registered land,” is subject to stricter policies and managed by the registered land department, also known as the Land Court. Land registration documents related to registered land are commonly referred to as “Land Court documents.”
Until recently, Massachusetts law dictated that recorders must retain original, hard-copy Land Court documents, making electronic recording of those documents impossible. Early this year, however, the governor of Massachusetts signed into law House Bill 3862, overturning the requirement and allowing registers of deeds throughout the state to e-record Land Court documents for the first time.
Hampden County, Norfolk County, and Southern Essex District were the first Massachusetts jurisdictions to record Land Court documents on April 12. All three jurisdictions have been e-recording recorded land documents for years and were eager to extend the benefits of e-recording to the Land Court.
“In 2004, the Hampden County Registry of Deeds was the first governmental agency on the east coast to perform an electronic recording. On April 12, 2017, we once again made history by being the first registry in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to record a registered land document,” said Hampden County Register of Deeds Donald E. Ashe. “These historic events would not be possible without Simplifile’s hard work, dedication, and innovation in the field of electronic recording of documents.”
E-recording enables document submitters to avoid the time and expense of mailing documents or making a trip to the registry of deeds. Instead, they can scan and securely submit documents directly from their home or office.
Registers of deeds also benefit from the efficiency of e-recording. If a submitted document has an issue that must be resolved before it can be recorded, the recording clerk can electronically reject the document, immediately informing the submitter why the document is ineligible for recordation. Without e-recording, it can take days to notify the submitter of a document error. With e-recording, the submitter can receive notification and re-submit a corrected document in minutes.
“Simplifile has been helping Massachusetts jurisdictions e-record documents related to recorded land since 2007,” said Paul Clifford, president of Simplifile. “Registers of deeds throughout the commonwealth have come to appreciate the efficiency, cost savings and customer service benefits of e-recording — and now they can apply those benefits across their recording workload.”
More than 1,606 recording offices throughout the United States now record deeds, mortgages, and other documents electronically using Simplifile. For an up-to-date list of all jurisdictions currently e-recording with Simplifile, visit https://simplifile.com/e-recording-counties.
About Simplifile: Simplifile, the nation’s largest e-recording network, was founded in 2000 to connect settlement agents and county recorders via its e-recording service. Today Simplifile has broadened its services to include collaboration tools and post-closing visibility for mortgage lenders and settlement agents working together on real estate documents. Through Simplifile, users can securely record, share, and track documents, data, and fees with ease.