I am writing to you today as you are a member of the Norfolk County Advisory Board and there will soon be a vote by the Advisory Board concerning the County budget to keep or abandon a Norfolk County Registry of Deeds IT Department and its Chief Information Officer.
I have been a practicing attorney in Brookline since 1973 with a concentration in real estate, and have seen great advances in Information Technology at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds from a time when the only way to find out what documents were recorded there was to go there, to instant access from any computer. The most recent technological advance has been the ability to record documents from the office where the closing took place. This is a great advance that needs to be maintained. There has been a system of sequential closings that allowed a seller of a piece of real estate to use their sale proceeds to buy their next home that day, and allowing the seller of the second piece of real estate to buy their new property that same day, and sometimes to a third sequential transaction on that day This, as you would expect, would require a lot of coordination between the Buyers, Sellers, real estate brokers and the attorneys for all the parties. Like I said, you could stack these closings in a row when well coordinated. Sellers can not use the proceeds from their sale until the necessary documents were recorded, which until recently required delivery of the documents to the Registry of Deeds. With the ability to record documents electronically these progressive closings can be extended to four because physically delivering the documents to the Registry is no longer required, and verification of recording is instantly available to all. This is only allowed by the well maintained information technology presently in place at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.
In addition to the Recorded documents section of the Registry of Deeds there is the Registered Land, or Land Court, Section of the Registry of Deeds in which property that may have some sticky issue or issues relating to its title goes through the Land Court to have it resolved. Access to the often technical and complicated Registered Land Section documents is also instantaneous because of the advanced system of information technology, including security, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds employs.
Just this past year I had an unusual problem with access to some documents concerning my office condominium unit. I called the Norfolk Registry of Deeds and received a prompt call back. The entire issue was resolved in twenty minutes.
That type of service for all the various users of the Norfolk Registry of Deeds is invaluable, and can not be abandoned. Failure of the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds to function as it does would result in personal and/or financial chaos for your Norfolk County neighbors who are coming, going, or relocating within the county.
I sincerely urge you to vote to keep the funding for a Chief Information Officer and Registry IT Technology Department in the budget. Thank you.
Very truly yours,
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