Worcester District Registry of Deeds

 

Home

Register Vigliotti

Search Our Documents

Fitchburg Satellite Office

Document Types

Corporate Certificates

Recording Requirements

Fees

Tax Stamps

Notary

For Your Information

FAQ

Glossary

History

Links

Directions

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1.                WHAT IS THE REGISTRY OF DEEDS?

A Registry of Deeds is the place where all transactions of a Real Property nature are recorded so that the public is made aware of their existence.

Deeds, mortgages, tax liens, water liens, declaration of homestead and many other kinds of documents regarding the title and ownership of real estate are noted permanently in official records.

 

2.                WHAT CITIES AND TOWNS ARE INCLUDED IN THE WORCESTER SOUTH DISTRICT REGISTRY OF DEEDS?

        All cities and towns in the County of Worcester are contained in the Worcester South District Registry of Deeds with the exception of Ashburnham, Fitchburg, Leominster, Lunenburg and Westminster.  These are included in the Worcester North District Registry of Deeds.

 

3.                WHO RUNS THE REGISTRY?

         The Registry of Deeds is a division of the Massachusetts Secretary of State. A person called the Register of Deeds administers the Registry.  The Worcester Register has a First Assistant Register.  There are a number of clerks who handle various duties.

 

4.                WHO IS THE REGISTER?

           The Register is an elected official whose term is for six (6) years and who makes certain that documents are recorded properly.  He also serves as the Assistant Recorder of the Land Court.  He is responsible for maintaining all of the land records in an accurate and correct form.  The present Register is Anthony J. Vigliotti.

 

5.                WHERE IS THE REGISTRY OF DEEDS?

                          The Worcester South District Registry of Deeds is located at 90 Front Street, Worcester MA 01608.  It is located on the Upper Level.  The Registry is open from 8:15 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday, Except on State and National holidays.  Recording hours are from 9:00 AM through 4:00 PM.  The telephone number for the Registry is 508-798-7717.

 

6.                WHAT IS A DEED?

           A deed is a written document by which the buyer obtains record title to real property.  There are several types of deeds.  The most common types in this area are Quitclaim or Warranty Deeds.  In a Quitclaim Deed the owner states that he/she has not encumbered any debts or liens against the title but is unwilling to state that his/her predecessors did not do the same.  In a warranty Deed the owner warrants that he/she has not encumbered any debts or liens against the title and guarantees that his/her predecessors did not encumber the title.

 

7.                WHAT IF I LOSE MY DEED

           The primary evidence of ownership is the deed itself, but the recording of the deed at the Registry of Deeds is notice to the world as to ownership.  Unrecorded deeds are legally binding on the persons who have knowledge of the deed but recorded deeds are absolute proof of ownership.  Once recorded, the original deed is returned to the new owner who usually deposits it in a place of safekeeping with his or her important papers.  However, if misplaced or lost, a copy may be obtained from the Registry of Deeds or on our website, www.masslandrecords.com.  You may obtain a certified copy at the Registry of Deeds.  The certified copy from the Registry has the same legal value as the original deed.

 

8.                WHOM DO I TALK TO IN THE REGISTRY OF DEEDS ABOUT MATTERS OF THIS SORT?

           The clerks at the Document Receiving Counter in the Registry of Deeds will help in answering any questions you may have.  The clerks, however, are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice.  They are willing, however, to give ministerial advice and assist you with your non-legal, registry related problems.

 

9.                MAY I MAKE OUT MY OWN DEED?

           Yes you may, but deeds are legally binding documents that affect the rights of the parties to the deed and also their heirs, successors and assignees.  Knowledge of legal principles is very important in the preparation of a deed.  The Registry is a recording agency and therefore, cannot make out deeds or answer those questions that pertain to legal matters.  We advise you to consult a lawyer.

 

10.             WHAT HAPPENS TO MY DEED WHEN IT ARRIVES AT THE REGISTRY?

   When any document is brought in to be recorded, there are a number of steps that are taken before it is returned to the concerned party.  The information on the document is first abstracted  into grantor and also grantee indices. The document is then scanned immediately. The images are then compared with the original document for accuracy.  Within minutes it is  available on our  public access system that can be accessed through our computers or on our website, www.masslandrecords.com. The original document is returned to the party that presented the document for recording. 

 

11.             WHAT IS THE STAMP ATTACHED TO A DEED?

           The Commonwealth of Massachusetts derives  revenue from the sale of real estate through the sale of state tax stamps.  The amount of the excise tax stamp differs from time to time depending on the action of the State General Court.  In Worcester County, the seller, by custom, is obligated to pay for the amount of this stamp just as the buyer is accountable for paying the recording fee for the deed and/or mortgage. The money paid for the tax stamps is income to the Registry and is forwarded to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Revenue. Click Here to calculate the amount of an excise stamp for a given value.

 

12.             WHAT IS A TITLE SEARCH?

           The recording of a deed and other documents in the Registry does not guaranty that the real estate is free from all liens, encumbrances and other legal problems that would cloud the ownership of the property.  A Title Search is a review of all records (Deeds, Probate Court, Bankruptcy, Tax Liens, etc.) and a written report of the Title Searcher’s opinion as to the state of the record title issued.  Some people do not have a Title Search, but that is a very dangerous practice and no bank will ever advance money for the realty without a Title Search.

 

13.             HOW DO I FIND THE DEED TO MY HOUSE?

           The Registry has a section referred to as the Grantor and Grantee Index.  Grantor means the seller and Grantee refers to the buyer.  In order to locate your deed you are, for purposes of finding this deed, the Grantee, since you are the one who bought the property last.  Once you ascertain the year that your property was purchased, you may use either the public access computers or Grantee books to find the book and page of your deed.  There are specific instructions in the Registry on how to locate your deed by computer or Grantee books. The deed can also be found by accessing our website, www.masslandrecords.com.

 

14.             CAN I LOCATE THE MORTGAGE TO MY OWN HOUSE IN THE REGISTRY?

                Yes, search the grantor index under your own name and the year you obtained your mortgage. The mortgage can also be found by accessing our website, www.masslandrecords.com. Helpful Hint: Click "Both" for expanded search.

 

15.             WHAT IF I DON’T RECALL WHEN MY HOUSE WAS PURCHASED?  HOW DO I FIND THE DEED?

        If you can't remember the date the house was purchased you can contact the Assessor in the city or town where the property is situated. They will relay the year and then you can proceed to find the deed as previously indicated. Also, our computer indices are online from 1966 to present date.

 

16.             HOW FAR BACK TO THE REGISTRY RECORDS GO?

           Registry records date back to 1731 and all the records are available for public inspection and use at the Registry.  Some very old record books have been “retired” but those records are available on microfilm and online from 1731 to date. Click un-indexed property search for record books.

 

17.             HOW CURRENT ARE THE RECORDS IN THE REGISTRY OF DEEDS?

           All essential index information is entered into the Registry Data Base and is immediately available through the public access terminals and on our internet site at www.masslandrecords.com.

      

18.             WHAT OTHER KINDS OF RECORDS WOULD I FIND IN THE REGISTRY?

           Besides deeds, mortgages, liens, tax liens, bankruptcies and so on, there are leases, plan maps, a small library and atlases of the Cities and Towns located in the Worcester Registry District.

   

19.             WHAT IS THE DEPARTMENT OF LAND REGISTRATION?

           The Department of Land Registration is a separate unit from the recorded section of the Registry of Deeds.  This unit is an adjunct of the Land Court that has a main office in Boston.  The Land Court is a Department of the Massachusetts Trial Court, which has control over ownership of real property that has been disputed.  After the Land Court renders its decision as to the ownership and boundary lines of real property, the ownership of that parcel can never again be disputed or doubted by any person.  The Registered Land section retains all documents that are registered, including the original deed. A parcel of land can be registered with the Land Court even if there is no dispute but the cost for the official title search, survey of the locus, etc., are substantial and time consuming.

              Have any other questions? Email Us

 

Registry of Deeds
90 Front St
Worcester, MA
01608