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Documents for Registered Land and Recorded Land are handled at the Registry of Deeds. A deed recorded in Dukes County must first be sent to the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank Commission. After being processed there, it will be hand-carried to the Dukes County Registry of Deeds by the end of the next business day.
The Registry of Deeds is also an Assistant Recorder of the Massachusetts Land Court. All transactions recorded in the land-court section of the registry deal with Registered Land, the title to which is insured by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The fee to record a deed is $125, as is a foreclosure deed with affidavit.
A mortgage is $175 to record. A discharge of mortgage is $75.
A single instrument that affects more than one prior recorded instrument and/or attempts to perform two or more separate functions will be treated as a "multiple instrument" for fee purposes.
Excise Tax: The effective tax rate is $4.56 per $1000 or fraction thereof of taxable value, rounded up to the nearest $500. No excise tax is due when the consideration is less than $100.00.
Land court documents will be kept as a permanent record. Copies are $1 per page and can also be downloaded for free from the Massachusetts land records website.
Add $1 for postage for documents mailed in, or include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
The entire transaction may be conducted by mail. Be sure to enclose checks required by the Dukes County Registry of Deeds for recording fees or deed stamps.
To avoid delay, the following items must be included with the deed:
- a photocopy of the deed and the original;
- a completed and signed LB1 form (original plus two photocopies), the Affidavit Attesting to the True and Complete Purchase Price;
- a check for 2% of the purchase price or:
a completed and signed LB2 form claiming exemption from the land bank fee, including additional documentation required to support claims of exemption (see below), checks for the Dukes County Registry of Deeds, and a cover letter detailing any specific instructions for the land bank or registry of deeds.
All exempt transfers require the filing of the land bank LB1 and LB2 form, transfer instrument or lease, a copy thereof, and documentation for one of the following exemptions:
A. Evidence of transfer previously made.
B. Notarized gift letters from buyer and seller, birth and marriage certificates, schedules of beneficiaries and their interests held.
C. Document evidencing operation of law.
D. Court decree and all pertinent documents.
E. Letter from internal revenue service granting tax exempt status, religious charter, or operating by-laws.
F. Mortgage copy and schedule of outstanding principal, interest, and related expenses.
G. Documents evidencing the formation of the corporation or partnership and interests held by the parties thereto.
H. Documents evidencing the dissolution of the corporation or partnership and interests held by the parties thereto at the time of formation and time of dissolution.
I. Court decree or transfer document stating "division of marital assets."
J. Bill of sale for personal property and qualified appraisal.
K. Trusts, corporations or partnerships provide beneficiaries, stockholders, or partners, and interests held by each party together with recordable affidavit.
If it is determined that items are missing, the document will be returned.
REGISTRY OF DEEDS REQUIREMENTS
* Documents should be on white 8.5 x 11 inch paper of sufficient weight to reproduce in registry scanners. Paper should not be larger than 8.5 x 14 inches.
* Printing should be single-sided only. Pages with printing on both sides will not be accepted. Printing, writing, and other markings should be dark enough to reproduce on registry scanners. Use a font size of at least 10 point and black ink.
* On the first page, provide a "recording information area" of at least 3 x 3 inches in the upper right corner. This area should be free from all writing and printing. All other margins should be at least 1 inch.
* Below the 3 x 3 inch margin and centered on the page, a document title should be given.
* Provide the name of the grantor and grantee on the first page. The residence and post office address of at least one grantee named must be provided.
* All grantors named in the document must sign. At least one of these signatures needs to be acknowledged (notarized). Documents requiring acknowledgments will not be recorded unless they are notarized in accordance with Massachusetts laws. Corresponding names should be typed or printed beneath all signatures.
* Include a recital of the amount of the full consideration in dollars or the nature of the other consideration, if not delivered for a specific monetary sum. Full consideration shall mean the total price for the conveyance without deduction for any liens or encumbrances assumed by the grantee or remaining thereon. Acceptable examples of statements of consideration if not for a specific dollar amount are: Nominal non-monetary; Less than $100; Love and affection; Estate planning; Dissolution of a business or marriage; No consideration. Unacceptable examples of statements of consideration if not for a specific dollar amount are: No monetary consideration; Good and valuable consideration; Such that no documentary stamps are required; For consideration paid.
* Provide the address of the property being conveyed as well as a legal description. A property description can indicate that the land conveyed is the same as described in or conveyed by prior recorded instruments identified sufficiently to locate the place of recording within the registry or can state that the instrument does not create any new boundaries. Additionally, the instrument can identify the land conveyed either by reference to a plan or plans previously recorded in the registry of deeds or by reference to a plan or plans recorded with the conveyance. The property address must be on the first page.
* A property description for Registered Land should state the lot number, the Land Court plan the lot is shown on, and the grantor's certificate of title number.
* Specify on the document whether it is Recorded Land or Registered Land.
* If a document refers to attached exhibits, they must be included at the end of the document.
* If the property in question relates to both Registered and Recorded Land, submitters must either obtain two sets of originals (one for Registered Land and one for Recorded Land), or register the documents first, have certified copies made of the Registered Land documents, and then record the certified copies as Recorded Land.
Effect of Recording: A conveyance of an estate in fee simple, fee tail or for life, or a lease for more than seven years from the making thereof, or an assignment of rents or profits from an estate or lease, shall not be valid as against any person, except the grantor or lessor, his heirs and devisees and persons having actual notice of it, unless it, or an office copy as provided in section thirteen of chapter thirty-six, or, with respect to such a lease or an assignment of rents or profits, a notice of lease or a notice of assignment of rents or profits, as hereinafter defined, is recorded in the registry of deeds for the county or district in which the land to which it relates lies.