Electronically Filing at the Registry of Deeds

As we are all experiencing growing pains learning new techniques and tools to manage business electronically, Patsy Harris, Register of Deeds Berkshire Middle District has issued some helpful tips to make the process a little easier and hopefully cut down on rejections.

Hi Everyone;

In an effort to reduce rejections while electronically recording, and ultimately save you time, my staff and I thought it might be helpful to share some common reasons your documents are being rejected for corrections. Please review the following:

    1. Illegible: This is often due to the quality of the image, and it specifically affects the legibility of signatures and other handwritten information.  The culprit could be your scanner which can result in your document appearing too light, too dark, too blurry or too blotchy. If we are unable to read your document in its entirety, we cannot accept it as part of our permanent records. If your documents are continuously rejected for illegibility reasons please consider upgrading your scanner. If a lending institution is repeatedly sending you mortgages that are difficult to read, for any reason, please consider advising them of the difficulty this presents for you and your staff.
    2. Signatures without names printed underneath: Every signature must include a legible, printed name of the signer directly underneath the signature line.
    3. Notary’s Information unclear: We need to be able to read the notary’s name and expiration date without question. If their seal is not clear, you will need to retype or clearly print the notary’s name and expiration date again.
    4. Notary’s Expiration Date Contains Two Conflicting Dates: Often, due to the need to compensate for illegible seal, the date is written in, but incorrectly.
    5. Blanks: If the document is prepared for information to be filled-in, we will require you to fill it in. Consider using the phrase: “recorded herewith” whenever possible.

For those of you who are dropping off documents, please be sure to include your recording check and your cell phone number with every recording. Also, please check the property addresses to be certain that your documents belong in this Registry.

Other things you should know:

We are currently working as a Skeleton Crew; therefore, we may not be as attentive to our emails, and we may even miss calls while performing other duties; such as administering oaths of office outdoors. Also, please be aware that you are dealing with a different crew from week to week and only some of us are connected to our work emails on the weeks we’re working from home. If you need to reach us, and your first attempt fails, please try another method or a different staff member. Customer service is still our first priority!

Please check your documents carefully for accuracy to avoid the need for corrective documents in the future. As recorders, we are trained to review documents to be sure that all registry requirements are satisfied; however, our standards may not meet your legal criteria. Although we often notice errors and omissions, and always point these out to you, we are definitely not proofreading your documents.

Thank you all for helping us continue to serve you in the best way we can under these unprecedented and extremely challenging conditions. All of us at the Berkshire Middle District Registry of Deeds miss you and wish you well; and we look forward to the days when this is all behind us.

Take care and be well,


Patricia M. Harris
Register of Deeds
Berkshire Middle District
44 Bank Row
Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 443-7438