Friday, June 24, 2005

More on Proposed Standards

First, another reminder that the masslandrecords site will be down all weekend beginning today at 5 p.m. and is scheduled to come back on line Monday morning. This past week at the Registers’ conference, we reviewed the existing Deed Indexing Standards that went into effect on January 1, 2000 and considered some new ones. Aside from the Social Security related standards I wrote about yesterday which go into effect this July 1, the new standards are only in draft form so far. We do want to circulate them as proposals and receive feedback. One proposed rule is that we require that the property address (the number, street and town) be written in a prominent place on the first page of all deeds, mortgages and discharges. We’re confident that the law requires this information already, but specifies that it be in the left margin of the document. Because it’s tough to use a computer to place type vertically in a margin when the text of the document prints horizontally, we’ll allow the address to be oriented the same way as the rest of the text. Another new rule will deal with plans that are attached to documents presented for recording (as opposed to plans that are recorded as plans). When a plan or any other document is recorded as an attachment to another document, the attachment must be on white paper and must be no less than 8.5 inches by 11 inches and no more than 8.5 inches by 14 inches in size. The reason for this rule is that many customers present us with condominium deeds that have floor plans as attachments, but the plans are often on mylar (plastic) or are on 11 inch by 17 inch paper. In both cases, we must reproduce the plan in a way that allows us to scan it. Once this rule goes into effect, that’s a burden the customer will have to bear. There are a few other of these types of rules, but there also will be major sections containing document formatting standards and on electronic recording standards.

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