Friday, December 30, 2011

Top Ten Registry Events of 2011

Here are my choices of the Top Ten Registry of Deeds events of 2011:

  1. After years of discussion, study and testing, the "new" version of becomes the default search application for registry of deeds records on the internet.
  2. In two far-reaching decisions on mortgage foreclosures, Ibanez v. US Bank in January and Bevilacqua v Rodriguez in October, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that a foreclosure commenced prior to the the entity conducting the foreclosure being assigned the mortgage is void, even as against a subsequent purchaser of the property.
  3. Adverse weather repeatedly had a negative impact on registry operations.  Snow forced the closure or curtailment of operations on six days in January and February; Hurricane Irene interrupted electricity and partially flooded the basement in August; and the Halloween snowstorm knocked out power and closed the office for two days in early November.
  4. The new MassLandRecords put all grantor and grantee indexes from 1629 to the present on the registry website.
  5. A major revision to Massachusetts Homestead Law went into effect on March 16.
  6. Attorney General Martha Coakley sued five national lenders for, among other things, failing to modify mortgages in good faith, failing to record required assignments of mortgages and foreclosing on properties when not legally entitled to do so.
  7. Essex South Register of Deeds John O'Brien gained national attention with his efforts against MERS and robo-signers.
  8. The new elevator in the Superior Court was completed and went into operation.
  9. The Lowell-based movie "The Fighter" which had scenes filmed in the Superior Courthouse, won Academy Awards and Golden Globes for Best Supporting Actor (Christian Bale) and actress (Melissa Leo).
  10. The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup.
Happy New Year.  See you in 2012.

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