Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Update to Deed Indexing Standards is planned

Yesterday I met with some fellow registers of deeds from across the Commonwealth.  Among the topics of discussion was the Massachusetts Deeds Indexing Standards.  Initial work on this document began back in 1997 with the recognition that even if all registries in the Commonwealth adopted the same computer system (which we haven't yet), users would still get variable results unless we were entering data in similar ways.  After much discussion and analysis by registry staffs and users, the first version of the Indexing Standards was made public in time for Y2K.  That first version dealt almost exclusively with how names would be entered into the computerized index.  Over time, the Indexing Standards have evolved into a type of recording handbook.  Our last update took effect on January 1, 2008 so it is undoubtedly time to critically review the existing document, to change it where the law or practice has changed and to add new things to it (such as a section on electronic recording).  Our process will be a deliberate one so there is no timetable for when an update might hit the street.  January 1, 2013, while aggressive, might be a good target.  In the meantime, please take a few moment to review the existing standards and make note of any changes or additions that should be considered.  Use the comment feature here or email me directly to share your thoughts.

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