Thank you to Scott Pittman and Michael Pill for a thoughtful article about dealing with MGL Chapter 61, 61A and 61B liens at closings. The article appears in the June 25th edition of Lawyer’s Weekly. They conclude that absent a REBA Title Standard, a Massachusetts Department of Revenue Form CL-6 and Form CL-9 must be obtained and recorded to effectively release the lien. Their article appears, partially, to be a plea to the REBA Title Standards Committee to consider a Title Standard to allow the recording of either form to release the lien.
Their article goes on to reference the municipal right of first refusal that arises upon the sale of land for, or conversion to residential, commercial or industrial use. But the article does not say that in order to clear the title to land which is subject to a Chapter 61, 61A or 61B lien that one or more affidavits must also be recorded. For example, MGL Chapter 61A, Section 14 (which was materially revised in 2008) describes in detail the steps that must be taken in the event a party wishes to convert their land, which includes providing a detailed notice of intent to sell or convert. The statute anticipates that the landowner will then record an affidavit that the proper notice was given:
“A notarized affidavit that the landowner has mailed or delivered a notice of intent to sell or convert shall be conclusive evidence that the landowner has mailed the notice in the manner and at the time specified. Each affidavit shall have attached to it a copy of the notice of intent to which it relates.” Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 61A, § 14 (West)
After the notice is provided, the land may be conveyed if a notice of non-exercise is recorded or 120 days passes without recording a notice of exercise or a notice of assignment.
“No sale or conversion of the land shall be consummated until the option period has expired or the notice of nonexercise has been recorded with the registry of deeds, and no sale of the land shall be consummated if the terms of the sale differ in any material way from the terms of the purchase and sale agreement which accompanied the bona fide offer to purchase as described in the notice of intent to sell except as provided in this section.” Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 61A, § 14 (West)
“Failure to record either the notice of exercise or the notice of assignment within the 120 day period shall be conclusive evidence that the city or town has not exercised its option.” Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 61A, § 14 (West)
PAUL F. ALPHEN, ESQUIRE
BALAS, ALPHEN & SANTOS, P.C.