Registry of deeds in Maine, Vacationland is a big state that has sixteen counties for land title searching and recording.
Of all the legal instruments involved when a property is conveyed to another real estate owner. To keep track of who owns what in the chain of title so a real estate abstractor or you and I can know who is the record owner today. Or twenty, forty years ago, whenever time in history is picked for revealing the true, absolute owner in the search of land titles to the real estate under the microscope.
Maine is a race notice state which means if you get a property title deed to the real estate, you have one important life and death serious matter to address.
You better find your way to the local registry of deeds.
Don't tuck it away in a top drawer or slide it into a book high up in a little used cabinet and forget to get it recorded.
The deed could burn in a fire, get lost and misplaced in the shuffle when you take your last breath. The lungs stop and your estate is broken up in the dispersement of your real and personal property.
Get that deed to the real estate registry for copying, for the micro filming to store elsewhere. For the all important putting the new title in your name on record at the local registry of deeds pronto. Because if it is not on record, showing up in a forty year title search or longer for the World to know that you are rightful property owner, it's a big sigh and "rut rho Mister Man" sputtered.
Without a recorded, witnessed and notarized legal deed of conveyance placed on record, well now Chummy, nothing keeps the seller from finding another real estate buyer.
Taking his money and granting the same deed description, location and acreage you thought you had purchased. Selling it again to another eager real estate buyer who simply trots up the registry of deed's steep granite court house steps. With the second duplicate deed in hand to pay the fee for so much a first page, second or how many trees killed to make the paper to hammer out the documentation. To show the local property tax people who get a copy who to send notices to each year. The seller, the buyer, the legal description to the real estate along with the transfer tax formsthat accompanies it to record the real estate title to the land in Maine. This is serious stuff when talking the biggest value asset most of us ever possess.
First come, first serve is how the scales of blind folded lady justice law courts view who is really the true owner of the property in Maine now. And if a property is divided up without a legal survey that was done all day long before the slower, expensive splitting up land subdivision process became law in the early 1970's, what if too much pie was sliced and diced?
If more acreage was conveyed than was in that source deed to dole out to each of the players around the real estate closing table?
First in,first served and if a shortage comes up, the run of the litter is the unhappy buyer who was last in line when the end roast of the real estate was done in the carving off another and another piece.
And just as important in a registry of deeds title search is figuring out did all the interest in the property of any person or his family, corporation, trust or estate get conveyed to the new buyer?
Any missing pieces across the street that were "parcel A" or "lot two" or however designated just not making the leap out of one to another entity in the chain of real estate title, from one to the next?
If a road or water way moved by the forces of man or nature over the years, the property lines can get legs. Just like when a disgruntled neighbor grabs hold of the 5/8 " rebar rod and chucks it or plants it where he sees fit on the lay of the land that serves him best.
Or when a busy den of beavers decide to block the stream a couple properties up the creek and that changes your boundary line from where it used to be before a pond was formed from the backed up water. That the big toothed animals with the paddy wack give the dog a bone flat, wide tail don't need permits for in their industrious development.
Lots can be learned at the local registry of deeds about the history of the real estate under the people who live in the many small Maine towns, the handful of cities.
Maine has sixteen counties as we shared earlier and Aroostook County is where I spend the most time in the stacks has two locations.
Have been to the Washington County Registry of Deeds in Machias in Downeast Maine. Made trips to the Penobscot County Registry of Deeds in Bangor, Maine. And accessed title work for real estate deeds and survey plat maps from the Piscataquis County Registry of Deeds in Dover Foxcroft Maine.
But Aroostook County is the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.
So a north and south registry of deeds accommodates the pubic best.
Houlton Maine is the county seat of Shiretown. Fort Kent Maine is the northern most registry of deeds for the northern half of Aroostook County.
Under the big County court house lighted clock that sounds on the hour so everyone in the Maine community knows what time it is without looking.
You will see lots of folks wearing coats and drifting in and out for a quick copy of a divorce degree, probate records, a real estate deed or survey peek in the registry title archives.
Others people are parked there for the day on stools, leaned over in the trips to the stacks, hefty big books that sometimes need plyers to remove rods to open them up to get the deed source deed for the photocopier. Hunched over slanted drafting like desks. And if not an attorney theyare paralegals, title abstractors searching the musty smelling unique setting a registry of deeds provides.
Phones ringing and passed on from the registrar looking for someone to tell the other end of the conversation new deed recording information so they can complete and out of town real estate closing.
There are chain drive thick, fire proof metal curtains that get opened and closed day and night at the registry of deeds. When you hear the registry ladies pulling on the chains, it is time to think about wrapping up your visit to the big brick multi purpose county building. With court and conference rooms used in other areas as quitting time approaches for everyone that is a public servant or paid billage hours in the metered out justice. It is a time when everyone is thinking what's for supper?
In the registry of deeds, checking the computer index for the seller, aka grantor and buyer, aka grantee works online easy for 1960 forward in the Aroostook County registry.
Big thick books in decade separation create the source deed reference for earlier title study. That are not scanned or accessed by optical readers due to different standards over the years to iron out.
Lots of lawyers in Maine I know are history majors in college. If everything could be done online, a big part of the local industry when you are lucky enough to live in the county seat in Maine would evaporate.
Everyone who visits the registry of deeds in Maine certainly senses the history as they reach high on stools and pull down volume this, to search for the pertinent page describing the real estate, or easement, property lien that might not have been discharged. Not showing a a paid in full recorded instrument to satisfy the open ended mortgage situation no matter how many years have passed. It has to be in black and white, duely stamped and acknowledged as someone's free act and deed. No forgeries allowed or hanky panky or that is what title insurance is all about when you get a lender's or owner's policy.
The earliest registry of deeds paperwork written by hand, beautiful penmanship back before word processors, scanners, fax machines and typewriters and when folks took pride in their hen scratchings dipping the quill in ink.
The early history in small Maine towns shows title deeds starting from real estate sales to the first settlers from the land grant transfers of academies and colleges far away. That needed money for their educational overhead and to provide income, the land needing to be opened up in what is now Maine that was vast and untamed, mostly wooded that was to be the source of academic funding.
Take a trip into a registry of deeds in one of many Maine locations and do some reaching, to study the old maps and learn where all the street, road, waterways and hill elevations got their names. The early mover and shakers, the town leaders had a distinct role in the early years that all involved real estate and are the wheeling and dealing, community growth is all recorded in the registry of deeds in Maine.
MOOERS REALTY 69 North Street Houlton Maine 04730 USA