At the end of each month at the registry of deeds, I compile that month’s document recording statistics and post them on the LowellDeeds blog with a comparison to the same month of the preceding year. Because this is December, I was also able to run the stats for the entire year. Here they are:
- The overall number of documents recorded in 2011 dropped 6% compared to 2010, falling from 63,122 to 59,563
- The number of deeds recorded in 2011 dropped 4% compared to 2010, falling from 5390 to 5158
- The number of mortgages recorded in 2011 dropped 14% compared to 2010, falling from 13,675 to 11,818
- The number of foreclosure deeds recorded in 2011 dropped 27% compared to 2010, falling from 585 to 429
- The number of orders of notice recorded in 2011 dropped 37% compared to 2010, falling from 1143 to 720.
While the foreclosure related drops would appear to be positive news, the real drop in foreclosures occurred late in 2010 and early in 2011. In both November and December of 2011 there were substantial increases in both foreclosure deeds and orders of notice compared to the same months in 2010. We will have to watch the coming months closely to determine whether this is becoming lengthier negative trend.
Also yesterday, I posted the Top Ten Events at the Registry of Deeds for 2011. Here they are, reposted from LowellDeeds:
- After years of discussion, study and testing, the “new” version of MassLandRecords.com becomes the default search application for registry of deeds records on the internet.
- In two far-reaching decisions on mortgage foreclosures, Ibanez v. US Bank in January and Bevilacqua v Rodriguez in October, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that a foreclosure commenced prior to the the entity conducting the foreclosure being assigned the mortgage is void, even as against a subsequent purchaser of the property.
- Adverse weather repeatedly had a negative impact on registry operations. Snow forced the closure or curtailment of operations on six days in January and February; Hurricane Irene interrupted electricity and partially flooded the basement in August; and the Halloween snowstorm knocked out power and closed the office for two days in early November.
- The new MassLandRecords put all grantor and grantee indexes from 1629 to the present on the registry website.
- A major revision to Massachusetts Homestead Law went into effect on March 16.
- Attorney General Martha Coakley sued five national lenders for, among other things, failing to modify mortgages in good faith, failing to record required assignments of mortgages and foreclosing on properties when not legally entitled to do so.
- Essex South Register of Deeds John O’Brien gained national attention with his efforts against MERS and robo-signers.
- The new elevator in the Superior Court was completed and went into operation.
- The Lowell-based movie “The Fighter” which had scenes filmed in the Superior Courthouse, won Academy Awards and Golden Globes for Best Supporting Actor (Christian Bale) and actress (Melissa Leo).
- The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup.