This week we came across a title where an improved lot in a Massachusetts city changed hands a half dozen times although the property was subject to a mortgage. The various deeds contained errors that would suggest that they were not prepared by attorneys, nor were title examinations performed. The outstanding mortgage was granted by a prior owner to a strangely described mortgagee. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, but it reads: “…grants to Jose Important, Trustee of Happy Financial Credit Counseling, Inc (By its actual President Billy McGee) of 100 Main Street, Big City, [wrong county], Massachusetts.”
There is no record of the corporation. There is no such party at that address. There are no other documents at the registry of deeds to or from similar names. Google tells us that Billy McGee is an alias for Jose Important, but short of hiring a private investigator, we have found neither of them.
The date of execution of the mortgage is 4 months prior to the date of the acknowledgement, and the mortgage was recorded 10 months after that.
We have requested that Seller’s counsel find the mortgagee and obtain a discharge. We have to give some thought to the form of the discharge because of the contradictory terms used in the name of the mortgagee, including a non-existent corporation and a vague reference to a trust. We have concluded that problems like this arise when people try to save a few dollars in attorney’s fees.- PAUL F. ALPHEN, Esq.