Massachusetts Agencies

Deeds from Cities and Towns

Deeds and Conveyances

There are many statutes that affect or regulate conveyances from municipalities. Two, however, are very important to remember:

G.L.c. 44, §63A. This statute, designed to prevent a “windfall” to a purchaser who takes title from a municipality and is thereby able to “hold off” the obligation to pay taxes until the assessment next after the town conveys the title. Under the statute the municipality is required to collect amounts “in lieu” if taxes that represent the amount that would have be en due if the parcel was taxable. The statutes states that compliance therewith is “a condition precedent to the power to deliver [the] deed.” A recitation in the deed that the statute has been complied with provides a “safe harbor,” but where there =s no such recitation a question remains whether the “condition precedent” to giving the deed has occurred. Although a later-acquired municipal lien certificate shows taxes current, that does not necessarily translate into evidence that the town collected the required amounts.

G.L.c. 60, §77B. This statute is similar to the first one cited above. In the case of tax-title property being sold by a municipality, it =s necessary for the purchaser to submit to the town a statement or statements that he/she is not an arsonist or a tax delinquent, and the statute provides that “no such deed shall be valid unless it contains [said] recitation[s] that board of officer granting (sic) the deed has received such statement[s].” This is a precondition to the validity of the deed, and such a recitation should be obtained.