Friday, October 12, 2012

Withdrawing property from Registered Land

Here is some information from the Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts (REBA) regarding Senate Bill 694 which simplifies the process of withdrawing property from the Registered Land system:

Why is the legislation important?

The well-known burdens of the land registration system are such that in even the simplest transactions developers and other clients are frustrated by their inability to predict the time and cost to subdivide or assemble lots in registered land for development. The Torrens system was originally intended to offer a simple and inexpensive method for keeping track of land ownership, but is now largely obsolete and has been repealed in most of the original twenty-one states that adopted it, due to administrative issues, technological advances, and the availability of title insurance. Only a few states continue to use Torrens-type land registration, and most of those provide for voluntary withdrawal from the system.

The changes in Senate Bill 694 that are recommended by REBA will ease withdrawal permitting our members to better serve their clients. Among the changes proposed, the new legislation would:

• eliminate the need to have the Land Court approve a condominium master deed and declaration of trust when a client wishes to "deregister" the land,

• permit withdrawal of land from registration at the option of the owner whenever there is any mix of registered and recorded land,

• permit withdrawal at the option of the owner if the land is not occupied by a one-to-four-family residence,

• for all other registered land the owner may request the Land Court to allow withdrawal by demonstrating "other good cause" including "the burdens and expenses of further dividing the registered land into lots for separate conveyance"

• insure that properties withdrawn from the registration system are treated as "confirmed" title when the land is transferred to the unregistered side.

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