Tuesday, January 31, 2012

whatifsports predictions Patriots 27-25

I don't know why they should even bother to play the Superbowl? The results are already in...

The Patriots will be World Champions. How do I know...whatifsports.com told me. Whatifsports.com predicts NFL winners including the score and games details.

In a squeaker whatifsports' computer model predicts the New England Patriots will defeat the New York Giants 27-25. Two points!? What a game, what- a- game!

And I've got details...

Both Tom Brady and Eli Manning will throw one interception and each team will turn the ball over once on a fumble. How do I know this? whatifsports' computer model told me.

And more...

The Giants defense will pressure Brady all day sacking him three times. But super Tom is tough and will still manage to throw for 296 total yards. Eli Manning too will feel the Pat's front four breathing down his neck. The Pats will get to Manning twice before game's end. But Manning will still have a good game throwing for 267 yards. I know this because whatifsports' computer model says so.

Details, details, details...

The Giants will be successful on six out of thirteen three downs tries an the Pats will convert six out of twelve third downs. The Patriots will punt three times the Giants four. The Pat's will rush the ball 24 times for a total of 98 yards and the Giants 27 times gaining 108 yards. Both teams will have three penalties called against them and both will average 20 yards on kick returns.

How do I know all this? Well, if whatifsports' computer model predicts it, it must be true.

Yes, whatifsports gives more details... but I'm going to stop right here before you decide its not even worth watching the game.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Technical difficulties with lowelldeeds.com

This morning we discovered some technical difficulties with lowelldeeds.com, which is the website of the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds.  The main masslandrecords.com site is working fine, however, so please go directly to that to conduct your searches.  If you run into any difficulties or need additional information, please email lowelldeeds@comcast.net.  We will place an update here once more information becomes available.

UPDATE: As of 1230 pm, the lowelldeeds site was back in operation, at least for most users.  Anyone who can't reach it yet should be able to shortly.  Thank you for your patience.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Proposed legislation on assignments

Yesterday I traveled to the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds in Dedham for a meeting of the Legislative Committee of the Massachusetts Registers of Deeds Association.  The main topic of discussion was companion bills filed by State Senator John F. Keenan of the Norfolk and Plymouth District and by Representative Michael D. Brady of the 9th Plymouth District.  Both bills, neither of which has been assigned a bill number, contain the following language:

SECTION 1: Section 6D of Chapter 183 of the Massachusetts General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:

Each assignment of mortgage secured by residential property, as defined in said Section 1 on Chapter 255E, shall be forwarded within 30 days of the date of execution of said assignment to the appropriate registry district for recording.
Of the many problems with the mortgage industry uncovered during this most recent collapse of the housing sector, one of the most frustrating for homeowners was the inability to quickly and reliably connect with the entity holding each homeowner's mortgage.  The intent of this bill, as I understand it, is to increase the likelihood that mortgage assignments will be recorded in a timely manner which will thereby permit homeowners to ascertain the party holding their mortgage at any given time. 

There certainly is a need for this type of reform, so hopefully this bill or some like measure will be quickly enacted by the legislature. 

Flags at half-staff today

All state and federal flags on government buildings in Massachusetts are to be flown at half-staff today in honor of Army Specialist Keith D. Benson of Norwood who died in Afghanistan on January 18, 2012.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I recently saw a National Geographic article showing several new species recently found in the rain forests of South America. I couldn't stop looking at the pictures of these remarkable creatures. My obsession puzzled me. What is it about them that is so magnetic to me? I speculated...For the past ten years or so, I have absorbed myself in "things" related to digital advancements and perhaps I have shut out and forgotten Nature's many known and yet to be discovered wonders.

Click picture to enlarge.

PAC Man Frog

Turnip Tailed Gecko

Spectacular Conehead Katydid

Glittery Water Beetle

Cowboy Frog

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Housing and the State of the Union

In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama addressed housing and mortgages.  This section of the speech in particular caught my attention:

There’s never been a better time to build, especially since the construction industry was one of the hardest hit when the housing bubble burst.  Of course, construction workers weren’t the only ones who were hurt.  So were millions of innocent Americans who’ve seen their home values decline.  And while government can’t fix the problem on its own, responsible homeowners shouldn’t have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief. 

And that’s why I’m sending this Congress a plan that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage, by refinancing at historically low rates.  (Applause.)  No more red tape.  No more runaround from the banks.  A small fee on the largest financial institutions will ensure that it won’t add to the deficit and will give those banks that were rescued by taxpayers a chance to repay a deficit of trust.  (Applause.)
I assume this "let every responsible homeowner" refinance thing means the government will somehow insure the amount by which new loans exceed the existing equity in the home, otherwise the millions of up-to-date homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages will never have an opportunity to refinance, at least not anytime soon.  Since such a program if enacted would create a substantial (and quite welcome) uptick in business here at the registry, we'll be watching its progress in Congress very closely.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Win is a Win, or is It?

When I was a kid I was a huge Patriots fan...notice I didn't say "New England" Patriots fan because in those days they were the "Boston" Patriots. I can even remember when the franchise started. I remember my father taking me to see the Pats play the Houston Oilers at Fenway Park back in 1964. And I remember the San Diego Chargers crushing them in the American Football League Championship game back in 1066 (the same year William the Conqueror invaded England)...these are old memories.

Today I enjoy the Patriots tremendously and never miss a game, so I'm still a fan, just not a "huge" fan anymore. Why am I telling you this?... because I feel a need to explain my reaction to last Sunday's Patriots victory.

So here goes...

Like many, many others in the area, I watched the Patriots/Raven AFC Championship game. I thought it was a great game, filled with excitement. But, I didn't think either team played particularly well. The climatic moment came with a field goal separating the teams. Raven's kicker Billy Cundiff ran on to the field for what appeared to be a routine chip-shot that would send the game into overtime...

When Cundiff's kick was in mid-air, I yelled to my wife, "he hooked it"...and then my next words were "I feel bad for that guy". I didn't yell "he missed it, the Patriots win". My wife just looked at me. "I mean it. I feel bad for him", I said again. I am little embarrassed to admit this was my reaction, but it was.

I leaned back on the couch and wondered...hey, Tony you're a Patriots fan. Why do you feel bad for Cundiff when the Patriots are going to the Super Bowl? What's the matter with you?

I continued to ponder my unusual reaction and then it hit me. I know why I didn't scream and yell "Super Bowl, Super Bowl, Super Bowl". I didn't because I thought this game "should" have gone into overtime. Neither team played poorly, but neither team deserved to win either. Sorry, but that was how I felt. Of course, I wanted the Patriots to win, but I didn't feel like they had earned it at that point...but neither had the Ravens.

I know, I know...all that matters is which team finished with the most points...but truthfully, some victories are sweeter than others... and to me this was a lemon.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Still seeking accountability for housing bubble

A story in the Business Section of the Globe detailed the quest of Eileen Foster, a Massachusetts-based former VP at Countrywide to recover judgment for what she alleges was her wrongful termination in retaliation for her internal complaints about Countrywide's lending practices.  Reading the story revived all the memories of shaky borrowers, fictitious financials, and loan originators who were paid based on the size of the loan and interest rate with the likelihood of repayment not even part of the equation.  I still found it astounding that no one has been held accountable for all of these practices.  It seems that the only time attention refocuses in this direction is when the odd, isolated case like the above bubbles up into the public eye.  The New York Times said as much last week in an editorial based on the ongoing prosecution of a single mortgage broker from Queens named Adul Ahmad.  As the Times observed,

Whatever Mr. Ahmad did or did not do, one thing is sure: he did not act alone. The attention Mr. Ahmad has drawn highlights the relative lack of scrutiny of the big banks and their senior executives. Big banks created demand and provided credit for dubious mortgage loans, which they bundled into securities and sold to investors. If not for reckless lending and heedless securitizing, there would have been no mortgage bubble and no mortgage bust — and, in all probability, no Edul Ahmad
At the end of the editorial, the Times speculates that lawsuits of the type recently brought by Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley "may ultimately prove more revealing and helpful to wronged homeowners" than anything done or being done by the Feds.  Still, it's now more than four years since the collapse occurred and that's a long time to wait for some resolution.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Homesteads and an uncooperative spouse

Someone recently asked a question (which I paraphrase below) about the new homestead law:

I noticed that the new Declaration of Homestead law requires both spouses to execute the document.  What happens in a case where the spouses aren't getting along and one spouse refuses to sign the form.  Does this mean the other spouse is precluded from obtaining a homestead? 

I don't believe the law addresses this scenario, but laws can't cover every possible set of facts so often the answer to a question like this must await an appellate court decision on each unique issue that arises.  That works well for everyone except the guy who has to be the first to litigate the issue.
Absent such a court decision, here's how I would analyze the question posed: Section 5 of Chapter 188 (the Homestead law) would apply. While section 5(a)(3) specifically states that where the property is jointly owned by a married couple, the homestead "shall be executed by both spouses."  But section 5(a) says it shall be signed "by each owner to be benefitted by the homestead."  If one spouse is not interested in obtaining a homestead, it would make no sense to prohibit the other from doing so just because of the recalcitrant spouse.  And I assume the empahsis on both spouses signing is because that's the exact opposite of the case under the prior version of the homestead law which only allowed one spouse to sign. 
If I was an attorney advising a client in this situation (which I most definitely am not - this is just speculation) I would say to fill out the homestead in his own name, make a note somewhere on it that the property is co-owned by SPOUSE but that she refuses to sign and he wishes to obtain a homestead on his interest in the property then I would record that.  But, if such a homestead were ever challenged, it would signal the start of a lengthy period of litigation over the issue

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Deeds and Homestead releases

We're starting to see some documents come across the recording counter containing the caption "Affidavit Related to Homestead Pursuant to MGL c. 188, s.13" which states:

Section 13. A deed, release or mortgage containing a statement of the marital status of a grantor may be relied upon by a good faith purchaser for value. As to acts undertaken in good faith reliance on such deed, release or mortgage, an affidavit executed and acknowledged by the grantor, releaser or mortgagor under penalty of perjury stating that, at the time of delivery of the deed, release or mortgage, the affiant had no spouse then entitled to claim the benefit of an existing estate of homestead, shall be conclusive proof of the nonexistence of such benefit at that time. The affidavit may be recorded in connection with the execution and delivery of a deed, release or mortgage and shall be accepted in the appropriate registry of deeds and registry district of the land court. The subsequent residency or renewal of residency in the home by a spouse of the grantor, releaser or mortgagor shall not defeat the priority of a mortgage, release or conveyance accepted in reliance on such affidavit.
As I understand it, simply by living in the home, a non-titled spouse, possesses a homestead estate in the property that cannot be defeated by the title-holding spouse.  Let me illustrate: Husband holds title in his own name with wife using the property as her personal residence.  Simply by reason of (1) her status as spouse and (2) her occupancy of the home, she automatically has an estate of homestead in the property under the automatic homestead provisions of the 2011 law.  This means that should the husband convey the property to a third party, that conveyance does not defeat the wife's homestead rights.  In fact, her right to occupy and use the home would be superior to that of the new owner.

To protect against this, deeds to property owned by just one spouse should also be signed by the non-titled spouse in order to release those homestead rights.  But how does anyone know whether a sole owner of property has a non-titled spouse?  That's the purpose of this affidavit.  Here's an example of one that involved not a spouse-seller, but an executor of an estate/seller:

I, Mary Jones, execturix of the estate of Jane Doe, do under oath depose and say that at the time of the Decedent's death, she had no spouse entitled to claim the benefit of the existing estate of homestead in and to the property located at 360 Gorham Street, Lowell.  Executed under the penalties of perjury this 7th day of January 2012.
The above cited-statute certainly allows for this kind of affidavit and makes it legally effective.  One problem, however, is the added cost for the $75 recording fee.  It's too bad that the revised homestead law, intended to help consumers, now imposes on some an additional charge of $75 to sell their homes.  It would be better if the legislature, the legal community, and the registers of deeds all agreed to have this additional affidavit embedded in the deed itself and to not charge an additional fee for it.  That would deal with the title issue while not imposing an additional cost on home sellers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Protesting SOPA and PIPA

Today's the day that many major sites on the internet go dark in protest of two pending bills in Congress: The House's "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) and the Senate's "Protect Intellectual Property Act" (PIPA).  This article in the Washington Post briefly lays out the dispute.  According to the Post, this struggle pits Hollywood and the recording industry, both of which seek to curb online piracy of copyrighted works, against the largest technology companies such as Wikipedia, Google and Twitter which assert the proposed bills will stifle innovation on the internet. 

We don't plan to have www.lowelldeeds.com or www.masslandrecords.com go black today, at least not in protest, but these bills do bear close watching.  The internet has become a vital part of so much of our lives these days, that it would be a shame to regress just to protect the financial interests of those who failed to keep up with rapidly changing technology.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Advanced Recycling in Lowell

Several years ago the city of Lowell changed its trash pickup procedures.  Formerly, almost whatever you put out at the curb in whatever quantity was picked up, no questions asked.  The new system restricts residences to a single large city-issue barrel (officially called you "cart" because of its wheels) but there's an unlimited amount of recycling of paper, plastics, cans and bottles.  But we often have other stuff that needs to be disposed of but is precluded from inclusion in the cart because of its nature (i.e., electronic devices).  Up until now, city residents could call a special number and arrange a curbside pickup providing a credit card number was first given to pay the nominal-to-moderate pick-up fee.

Now, a new outfit called Northeast Material Handling Inc has opened at 38 Prince Avenue (the old Prince Spaghetti plant near the intersection of Gorham and Moore Streets) that accepts drop offs on the second Saturday of each month between the hours of 8 am and noon.  They charge nominal fees for most items.  For example:
  •  Appliances - $7 each -  stoves, refrigerators, microwaves, etc
  • Televisions - $.35 per lb
  • Electronics - $3 - PCs, laptops, radios, speakers, copiers
  • Plastic & Metal - $8 - swing sets, patio furniture, lawn mowers, snow blowers
  • Misc items - $3 - phones, coffee makers, batteries, dehumidifiers, light fixtures, etc
  • Books, paper and cardboard - all free
If you're like me and your garage and basement have piles of no-longer-used stuff that you have difficulty getting rid of, this might be for you.  And it's my understanding that the service is not limited to Lowell residents.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mid-January recording statistics

It's only January 13, but since the 15th falls on a Sunday, the documents recorded right now are all that we'll have for the first half of the month.  Comparing the first 15 days of January 2012 with the first 15 days of January 2011 unfortunately doesn't present much cause for optimism.  (From here on in this post, when I write "2012" or "2011" I'm referring to the first 15 days of January in each of those years).

The number of deeds recorded dropped 19%, from 169 in 2011 to 137 in 2012;
The number of mortgages recorded dropped 27%, from 609 in 2011 to 446 in 2012;
The number of orders of notice dropped 21%, from 14 in 2011 to 11 in 2012; and
The number of foreclosure deeds rose 80%, from 10 in 2011 to 18 in 2012.

The distribution of those foreclosure deeds is as follows: 9 in Lowell, 3 each in Billerica and Chelmsford, 2 in Westford and 1 in Dracut.  As much as these stats trend negatively, it's just a small sampling so I'd be hesitant to draw any inferences.  Still, this is something that we'll watch closely as the month draws to a close.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Coakley & O'Brien respond to WSJ editorial

Last week the Wall Street Journal published an editorial (portion only available on WSJ website) deeply critical of Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley's lawsuit against some major national lenders for alleged improprieties arising out the housing crisis and its aftermath.  My blog post about that editorial can be found here

Recently the Journal published letters to the editor in response from Attorney General Coakley and from Essex South Register of Deeds John O'Brien.  Coakley wrote, in part, 

. . . If the banks wanted to resolve this crisis in a timely manner, they had 14 months to do so. Instead, they dragged out negotiations and attempted to obtain broad liability releases for seemingly every imaginable illegal conduct. Last month we declared "enough was enough" and filed a lawsuit seeking the one thing the banks have resisted at every stage—real accountability for their actions and real relief for homeowners. . . .
While O'Brien added

. . . The real pain for homeowners is the havoc that these lenders have wreaked on the chains of title and property rights . . . I have been fighting for the "little guy" and I am very happy that the Massachusetts's AG has chosen to do the same.
Both letters are available in full on the Journal's webpage.  Please check them out.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

UMass Lowell puts Cultural Resources Inventory online

If you're interested in the history of Greater Lowell, you will be delighted to learn that the University of Massachusetts Lowell has just made the multi-volumed "Cultural Resources Inventory" and "The Lowell Neighborhoods: An Historical and Architectural Overview" freely available online.  These documents are part of the larger Paul Tsongas Congressional Collection that is held by the UML Library. 

I was fortunate to have found a copy of the Cultural Resources Inventory here at the registry of deeds when I arrived back in 1995.  It's been of great utility when assisting customers in researching some of the most historically significant properties in Lowell.  Now all of that material is available online.  For example, here is the article about St Peter's Church which was located across the street from the courthouse but was torn down 15 years ago. 

All of these records can be accessed via this link:  http://digitalscholarship.uml.edu/surveys/   

Please check it out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Electronic Recording in 2011

We commenced electronic recording of documents at Middlesex North back in 2005 and the number of documents submitted that way has increased continuously each year since.  Here's a glimpse at the growth of electronic recording, showing the number of documents recorded electronically each year since 2005 and the percentage of overall recordings represented by electronically filed documents:

  • 2005 - 1057 efiles - 1% of all documents
  • 2006 - 1871 efiles - 3% of all documents
  • 2007 - 3491 efiles - 5% of all documents
  • 2008 - 3956 efiles - 7% of all documents
  • 2009 - 8168 efiles - 12% of all documents
  • 2010 - 9013 efiles - 14% of all documents
  • 2011 - 14736 efiles - 25% of all documents
Here's the breakdown by document type of our 2011 electronic recordings:

  • Discharges - 5889 total - average of 24 per day
  • Deeds - 819 total - average of 3 per day
  • Mortgages - 3871 total - average of 16 per day
  • Other - 4117 total - average of 17 per day
  • Total efiles - 14,736 - average 60 efiles per day
  • Total documents - 59,173 - average of 241 total documents per day

Monday, January 09, 2012

New Probate Law Delayed

The new Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code, which was scheduled to take effect on January 2, 2012, had its effective date pushed back 90 days by a bill that was signed by Governor Patrick on December 30, 2011.  The new effective date is March 31, 2012 according to this directive from the Probate and Family Court.

The amended law - whenever it may take effect - should have a significant impact on registries of deeds and land records.  Now, when a beneficiary of a will or an estate takes real estate directly from the decedent, the executor or administrator will create a Deed of Distribution that will be recorded at the Registry of Deeds.  Previously, the only evidence of such a transference of title of real estate could be found in the probate records themselves.  Nowhere at the deeds registry would there be an indication of a change of ownership. 

Once this new law is in effect and those who practice in this area work out its details through their everyday experience, we will probably find that this new law is a positive development.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Wall Street Journal on Mass AG Lawsuit

I don't subscribe to the Wall Street Journal in either paper or electronic form, but early this past Tuesday, my home delivery person inadvertently (I think) dropped a copy of that day's WSJ along with the Globe.  Flipping through the pages, I was surprised to come upon an editorial on the lawsuit recently filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley against a number of national banks for alleged improprieties arising out of the housing crash and its aftermath.  Not surprisingly, the piece takes a dim view of the suit (although you can only see the first couple of paragraphs if you're not a logged-in subscriber).  The paper cites Coakley's 2010 Senate loss and suggests this effort is merely an attempt to capitalize on anti-bank sentiment for public relations purposes.  The editorial focuses primarily on the MERS and robo-signer issues and says the former has already been validated by courts around the country and the latter is being corrected internally by these lenders.

I've previously gone on record stating I find nothing wrong with the organization and concept of MERS (although it, like every other lender, should not be permitted to cut corners without being penalized) and the issue of robo-signers, while improper, is a lot more complex than many want to believe given the reach of agency law.  Where the Journal completely misses the mark is the whole untimely assignment issue which flows from last January's SJC decision in Ibanez.  That case, in reiterating the law of Massachusetts for more than 300 years, made it clear that before a foreclosure could be commenced, the foreclosing party had to own the mortgage, otherwise the foreclosure would be void.  Because that seemingly self-evident proposition had been eroded away not by legislative or judicial acts but by persistently sloppy practices by national lenders, what should have been a footnote came as an devastating blow to the vitality of any quick recovery of our housing sector.  Notwithstanding the Wall Street Journal's belittling of the issues raised in the AG's lawsuit, the fact remains that many of those who have purchased previously foreclosed properties no longer own those homes right now and the process of rectifying that will be long and expensive.  We have to start fixing this problems somewhere and it seems that a lawsuit is an appropriate place to begin.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

David Pogue's List of Techie "Stuff"

Every December New York Times' Columnist David Pogue lists his favorite technology devices for the year. I like techie "stuff" and my birthday is not that far off (only seven months, fourteen days, seven hours). Below I've described a fewof the things on Pogue's list, any of which would be a nice gift for someone like me.

Stay N' Store:
This is a small 16 gig flash drive that costs only $25.00. The important word here is small. Stay N' Store is so small it is designed to remain plugged into your computer ALL the time. I could use it to expand my current computer's memory (of course, I wouldn't need Stay N' Store if I got a new computer for my birthday).

SoundRacer: I drive a Jeep Wrangler and I love it, but it is not very stylish. For just $32 SoundRacer could solved this problem for me. You see if I had SoundRacer all I would have to do is plug it into the Jeep's DC outlet and I've got an instant Ferrari, almost. Once connected SoundRacer simulates the sounds of acceleration, shifting and braking of a souped up sports car.

iCookbook: A mere $5...You should've seen the face of my iPad after all my holiday cooking...covered with smudges of butter, morsels of dough, sticky sticky sticky, all from swiping through pages of my favorite recipes. I love my iPad too much to treat it like a napkin. iCookbook would allow me to turn pages using volume commands so I can keep my pasty fat fingers off the screen. BTW, I've decided this thing is so cheap, that even if I don't get it for a birthday present in seven months, fourteen days and seven hours, I'm going to kick out the five bucks myself and get it anyway.

Turbomount: And speaking of tablet computers...I love mine, but I hate that I have to hold it with one hand and control it with the other. No, I'm not asking for more hands for a gift...rather for about $100 Turbomount system solves the problem, providing two adjustable arms that'll hold my tablet for me.

And here is my absolute favorite...

Audio Bulbs: $300, yes a little pricey, but...Audio Bulbs are wild! Can you imagine a light blub that's a speaker too? A wireless transmitter sends sound from an iPod, iPad, or CD player to, don't laugh, a light bulb. No, I'm not kidding...If I had an audio blub, I'd replace my living room "100 watter" with one and read my latest book (Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72) while listening to Warren Zevon belt out Werewolves of London...from the lamp shade. I just gotta have one of these.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Winter arrives

This morning's temperature of 8 degrees before calculating wind chill reminded us all that notwithstanding the unseasonably warm weather we've been enjoying, it is winter.  In reviewing last year's blog posts recently, I noted how many days our operations were curtailed last January and February by heavy snow.  With that in mind, I thought I'd review our normal practice in the event of a snowstorm.

Since we are located within a courthouse, access is controlled by Trial Court security.  If the Trial Court decides the building should close early or not open in the morning, then we mirror that closing since we would be unable to let members of the public into the building.  There is not one set place to obtain that type of information.  It's best to check with the media and, as soon as I get the news, I post it here, so this blog is a good resource.

Short of the building being closed, we try to stay open during our normal business hours but sometimes employee safety dictates closing early.  Often we send the bulk of the staff home early and keep a few volunteers on hand for a bit longer.  A couple of years we did that, however, and the snow got so deep by the time we left that the only way any of us got out of the parking lot was by flagging down a passing snowplow and slipping the driver $20 for him to clear a path to our cars.  After that experience, I became a little quicker on making the decision to close.

Hopefully this will all be a theoretical discussion and any snow we receive will be more nuisance than major impediment.  After all, snow has already accounted for (indirectly, at least) two days of closure in the aftermath of the Halloween storm.  But just in case, remember to check the blog when it snows.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

2011 Recording Statistics

With 2011 now at an end, we can look at recording statistics for the year and compare them to the numbers from 2010.

The total number of documents recorded in 2011 was down 6% from the number in 2010, sliding from 63,122 in 2010 to 59,563 in 2011;

The number of deeds recorded was down 4%, going from 5390 in 2010 to 5158 in 2011;

The number of mortgages was down 14%, going from 13,675 in 2010 to 11,818 in 2011;

The number of orders of notice was down 37%, dropping from 1143 in 2010 to 720 in 2011;

The number of foreclosure deeds was down 27%, dropping from 1143 to 720.

The 59,563 documents recorded in 2011 was the lowest annual total since 2008 when only 56,011 were recorded.  The previous low occurred in 1991 with 52,019.  The peak of recording came in 2003 when we handled 146,956 documents.