Cambridge, MA asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts

Q: How do I get a redemption for a real estate tax taking in Massachusetts?

My local tax collectors office filed a tax taking back in 2008 for outstanding real estate taxes due on an investment property? The delinquent taxes were paid by my mortgage servicer from my escrow account.

A recent title search shows the 2008 tax taking lien recorded, but a redemption or satisfaction was never filed. The tax collector's office verbally confirmed that the taxes were paid, but will not provide a redemption because there is currently an outstanding water bill due.

I can pay the water bill in order to get the redemption for the 2008 tax taking, but I'm wondering if a local city or town in Massachusetts is required to provide a redemption after a tax taking has been satisfied, and if so, whose responsibility is it to record it?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
  • Boston, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: If the tax title amount has been paid, the town is required to issue a redemption. The town is permitted, but not required , to request the recording fee for recording the certificate as a condition of providing the certificate, and then must record the certificate. I believe the recording fee for such a certificate would be $105. If the town only provides you with the certificate and will not record it, I suggest you contact the registry of deeds where the land lies for instructions on recording. If this is in connection with a sale or a refinance that you expect to go forward shortly, give the certificate to the closing attorney and ask him/her to record it with the other documents.

Whenever I have requested redemption certificates the town or city has delivered the certificate to me and I have recorded it.

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