In a case of first impression, the Appeals Court ruled last week in Allen v. Allen that a recorded deed with an acknowledgement falsely stating that the grantor had personally appeared before the notary public was unenforceable against a family member with a competing, subsequently recorded deed. 

Allen pitted the plaintiff sister, Deborah, against her defendant brother, Harold Jr.  In July,

two (A1074067).jpgIn the last few weeks the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) decided two more cases dealing with the effects of botched foreclosure sales. 

The more important decision is U.S. Bank National Association v. Schumacher (pdf).  Schumacher arises from M.G.L. c. 244, §35A, which the Legislature enacted in 2007 in response to the foreclosure crisis.  This statute requires foreclosing banks

Educational opportunities abound this spring!  Next Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) headquarters in Downtown Crossing, my current Rackemann colleague and fellow MLUM contributor Gordie Orloff, and my former Rackemann colleague, Land Court Justice Robert B. Foster, will be among the panelists in a program entitled, “Resolving Common & Complex Title Issues.”  Among other topics, this program will cover how to spot

Here is the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in Eaton v. Fannie Mae, released moments ago.  It appears to require a foreclosing mortgagee to either have physical possession of the underlying promissory note or be acting as the authorized agent of the noteholder.  Crucially for real estate practitioners, the decision applies only prospectively.  More to follow shortly.

Along with the Red Sox and Patriots’ Day, one of the unique features of Massachusetts is that modern property rights can be ruled by 370-year-old statutes.  The Colonial Ordinance of 1641-1647 declared that owners of land adjoining the shore also own the tidal flats – the land betweenBeachpath.JPG the high and low water marks (out

On January 7, 2010, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued its much-anticipated decision in U.S. Bank National Association v. Ibanez  (pdf).  The SJC affirmed a trial court ruling that, to validly foreclose a mortgage, the foreclosing party must actually hold the mortgage at the time of foreclosure.

Ibanez is really two cases with almost identical facts and legal