Thursday, 26 September 2013 18:39

How do I Find a Copy of my Deed?

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You just bought your home and you wonder where do I get a copy of my deed?  In Massachusetts your deed is recorded at the Registry of Deeds for your county.  Some counties have more than one Registry of Deeds, such as Middlesex South in Cambridge and Middlesex North in Lowell.  The original deed gets scanned at the Registry and the information from the deed is inputted by the Registry Personnel, so the names of the sellers and the buyers are typed into the system along with the property address and the amount paid for the property.

After being scanned many Registries return the document immediately to the person who records the document and other Registries will mail the original back to the return address on the document.  Most Registries also do electronic recording now, so the original document is just scanned and filed electronically with the Registry.

So the original deed can be obtained from the office that recorded the deed for you (usually the closing attorney's office) or the Registry will mail it to you directly.  However, do not panic if you do not have the original deed, it is not like the title to a car.  You do not need the original deed when you go to sell your property.  A copy of your deed is a permanent record at the Registry of Deeds, you can always get a copy there if you need one.  You can either go directly to the Registry of Deeds and the personnel can help you make a copy or you can go to their website.

To find land records in Massachusetts go to  this is a website managed by the Secretary of State's office.  Once there just click on your county and it will bring you to a search page.  Type in your last name and first name and you will see all the records that have been recorded in your name.  Click on any document and you can view that document or print it out.  There is an "Advanced" tab if you have a common name so you can narrow the search by town and dates, because the results can bring up many documents making it difficult to find the one you are looking for. 

If you cannot find anything under your name then your property may be what is called "Registered Land".  At the top of the search page go to "Search Criteria" and then click on "Registered Land - Name Search".

You should be aware there are companies that will try to scam you by sending you an official looking letter stating you need a copy of your deed and they will send it to you for the "reasonable" fee of up to $100!  As you see above it is very easy to get a copy yourself, if you went to the Registry it would only cost a $1 a page for a copy of your deed.  So you can see what a scam it is.

Last modified on Thursday, 26 September 2013 23:48

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