Category Archives: Local News

Fireworks at Patriot Place 7/2

Patriot Place announced today that they will be hosting a patriotic fireworks display on Friday, July 2.

The annual tradition returns after a year hiatus due to COVID-19. Patriot Place’s Summer Stage will feature live entertainment before the evening culminates in a fireworks spectacular beginning at approximately 9:15 p.m. For a full schedule and additional details, visit https://www.patriot-place.com/fireworks/

“We look forward to kicking off the Fourth of July holiday weekend with a fun-filled day of family activities and culminating in a spectacular fireworks show,” said Brian Earley, Vice President and General Manager of Patriot Place. “As we make the much-anticipated return to normal, we can’t wait to celebrate this patriotic occasion with our guests at Patriot Place.”

Register O’Donnell Promotes Homestead Act

Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell today reminded Norfolk County homeowners about the importance of filing for Homestead protection. 

O’Donnell noted, “If you own a home, and it is your primary residence, one way to protect it is to file a Homestead. The Homestead law provides a homeowner with limited protection against the forced sale of their primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. This is especially important when you consider that for most of us, a home is our most valuable asset.  Consumers should take steps to protect that asset.” 

Another feature of the Homestead law is the allowance for a filing of an Elderly Homestead application, which defines an elder as a person who is 62 years of age or older. This protection can be increased if the elderly couple are each 62 years of age or older and file jointly.

The Register further noted, “Back in March of 2011, the Homestead law was updated so that a valid Homestead cannot be terminated when refinancing a mortgage. Other changes that took place back in 2011 state that a Homestead can provide protections for a primary home even if it is kept in trust. The definition of a primary residence was also further expanded to include a manufactured or mobile home.” 

While a Homestead provides important protections for homeowners, it is important to note there are certain debts that are exempted from protection under the Homestead Act. These include federal, state and local tax liens, as well as mortgages contracted for the purchase of a primary home and nursing home liens. Most other mortgages, debts, and encumbrances existing prior to the filing of the Declaration of Homestead, along with probate court executions for spousal and child support, are also not covered under the Homestead protection statute. 

Homestead documents are recorded at the Registry of Deeds for a state imposed fee of $36.00. Additional information about the Homestead law, and free applications are available by going to the Registry’s website at www.norfolkdeeds.org.  

Register O’Donnell concluded, “I want to reiterate that a Homestead provides limited protection against the forced sale of a homeowner’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. While the debt is still owed, homeowners can have peace of mind knowing that with a Homestead recorded at the Registry of Deeds, their primary residence cannot be forcibly sold to satisfy most debts. If you have any questions about a Homestead, please contact our Customer Service Center at 781-461-6101, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30AM-4:30PM. Our trained staff are more than willing to answer any questions you may have.”

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at Facebook/com/NorfolkDeeds or follow us on twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds and/or Instagram.com/NorfolkDeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham.  The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information.  All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website www.norfolkdeeds.org.  Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.

Stuff-A-Truck Toy Drive

Press Release

PATRIOT PLACE, SATURDAY, DEC. 5 FROM 11 A.M. THROUGH 5 P.M.

Guests can donate new, unwrapped toys to benefit children in need this holiday season

Stuff-A-Truck event will take place in Lot 20, near CVS and Starbucks at Patriot Place

Patriot Place and the New England Patriots Foundation announced today they will be hosting the Stuff-A-Truck Toy Drive event on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. in Lot 20, near CVS and Starbucks.

Guests can help children in need this holiday season by stuffing the truck with new and unwrapped toys alongside Pat Patriot, the Patriots Cheerleaders and Slyde. The Stuff-A-Truck event is part of a weeklong toy drive hosted by Patriot Place and the Patriots Foundation, in partnership with WBZ and the New England Revolution Charitable Foundation.

Guests can bring new and unwrapped toys to the blue and white collection bins throughout Patriot Place through Sunday, Dec. 6. Collection bins will be set up at the entrances to Showcase Cinema De Lux, Patriot Place Management Office hallway, Bass Pro Shops and the Patriots ProShop.

The Patriots Foundation will also be collecting toys at Magic of Lights on Saturday, Dec. 5. Guests with Magic of Lights tickets for Dec. 5 are encouraged to bring a new and unwrapped toy that they can drop into the toy collection boxes directly from their vehicle window upon arrival.

Patriot Place staff will be on-hand to ensure all proper social distancing guidelines are being followed. Please refer to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ website for COVID-19 travel restrictions and guidelines. To learn more about the toy collection drive, visit https://www.patriots.com/community/collection-drives.

COVID-19 and the Norfolk County Real Estate Market

Since March 10th when Governor Baker declared a state of emergency to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us have experienced some sort of personal or economic upheaval. We do live in extraordinary times. Despite all this upheaval and uncertainty, Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell today reports one area of our economy has remained viable, the Norfolk County real estate market.

Register O’Donnell stated, “The COVID-19 state of emergency ordered by Governor Baker recently passed the six-month timeframe. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I am proud to report the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has remained open for the recording of land documents. While the Registry of Deeds building remains closed to the general public, Registry personnel have been able to continue recording land documents. At the beginning of the pandemic, we utilized social distancing, split work shifts, remote access, and use of our disaster recovery site to record documents. With the lifting of some restrictions by Governor Baker, continued practice of social distancing and taking all other necessary steps to ensure the safety of our employees, more of our personnel are now working out of our main building in Dedham. Throughout the pandemic, we have also utilized electronic recording for our institutional users such as banks, law firms and title companies. In addition to electronic recording, users have also had the option to submit documents via regular mail, Federal Express or placing documents in our drop-off box located just outside our main entrance at 649 High Street, Dedham, MA.”

Since March 10 th when the state of emergency was declared through September 10 th , the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds recorded 87,379 land documents, a 14% increase compared to the same timeframe in 2019. Most of this increase can be attributed to a spike in mortgage recordings. Specifically, 23,607 mortgages were recorded, a significant 57% increase. The total mortgage indebtedness dollar amount of these mortgages was $10 billion. From March 10 the through September 10 th , 8,910 properties, residential and commercial, were sold in the county, a 9% decrease year over year. However, the average sales price actually increased 4% to $833,279. Total sales volume, again both residential and commercial, for the six-month period was $4.7 billion.

“These sales figures,” noted the Register, “are actually encouraging considering the economic upheaval in general and specifically the high unemployment rate seen in Massachusetts during the pandemic. Many real estate observers are reporting buyers, particularly millennials, leaving the city for the suburbs. Low-interest rates are also a factor in many considering buying single-family homes. Additionally, many are now working remotely from home and as a result can live farther away from their place of business. A factor in the increased average sales price has been the reduced amount of available housing inventory resulting in this being a seller’s market with prospective buyers competing for limited housing stock. Real estate brokers and agents have reported in some cases this intense competition has actually driven real estate sales prices over the original asking price.”

“The increase seen in mortgage recordings has been a direct result of historically low interest rates. Many of these mortgages are refinancing existing mortgages to reduce term, lessen monthly payments or pay for a home improvement or higher education expense,” stated the Register.

During the March 10 th through September 10 th period, the number of foreclosure deeds recorded fell 30%. Notice to Foreclose Mortgages, the first step in the foreclosure process, have been curtailed due to a moratorium placed on foreclosures and evictions while the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency has been ongoing. The Norfolk Registry of Deeds has been working with Attorney General Maura Healey’s office in monitoring protections afforded to homeowners affected by the COVID-19 state of emergency through Chapter 65 of the Acts of 2020, Act Providing for a Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures During the COVID-19 Emergency as well as protections put in place by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Pub L. 116-136, (the “CARES Act”).

“One area that needs special attention once the COVID-19 state of emergency has been lifted,” noted Register O’Donnell, “is foreclosure activity not only in Norfolk County but throughout Massachusetts. As a result of the economic upheaval seen during the pandemic, many of our neighbors have lost their jobs impacting their ability to pay their monthly mortgage payments.”

“As Register of Deeds, I have been proud to partner with Quincy Community Action Programs, 617-479-8181 x376, and NeighborWorks Housing Solutions, 508-587-0950. These non-profit agencies can help anyone facing challenges with the paying of their mortgage. In addition, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD), 617-727-8400 can also help. All of these programs are staffed by knowledgeable professionals who provide assistance to those struggling to pay their mortgages.”

Homestead recordings fell 9% during the March 10 th through September 10 th timeframe. “A Homestead,” noted O’Donnell, “provides limited protection against the forced sale of a homeowner’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. I urge all Norfolk County homeowners to avail themselves of this important consumer protection tool.” Concluding his remarks, Register O’Donnell stated, “The last six months have been difficult for individuals, families, employers and employees alike. Despite all the hardship, I am proud of my office’s efforts to keep the Norfolk Coåunty Registry of Deeds open for business. The results of these efforts have been a viable Norfolk County real estate market benefitting sellers and buyers of real estate, lending institutions, the real estate legal community and all others with a vested interest in the local real estate economy. By keeping the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds open, recording fees collected have been forwarded to the state and county helping to pay for important public initiatives including education, health care, and police and fire expenses. We are so thankful to our partners in the real estate community and most importantly the citizens of Norfolk County. Their patience with us has been critical to the Registry of Deeds being able to continue its core mission of recording land documents in a safe and secure environment.”

“Unfortunately, we are not done with this pandemic. Please continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and take all necessary steps to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Together, we will get through this. Be healthy. Be safe.”

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at facebook.com/NorfolkDeeds or follow us on twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds and
Instagram.com/NorfolkDeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website www.norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.

Sturdy Memorial Advises Community To Beware Of Unauthorized Calls

Sturdy Memorial Hospital Logo

Several community members have contacted Sturdy Memorial Hospital regarding marketing calls they have received at home or on their cell phones where their caller ID identifies Sturdy as the caller. These calls do not originate at Sturdy or any of its affiliates. The practice is called “spoofing” in which outside companies are able to have another entity displayed on the caller ID to entice the public to answer the call.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the Truth in Caller ID Act, FCC rules prohibit any person or entity from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongly obtain anything of value. Unfortunately, if no harm is intended or caused, the practice is not considered illegal.

The public is urged to not give out any personal information to unknown callers or purchase any product that they may be selling.  Phone calls from your doctor’s office do occur on occasion but if you are unsure if a call is legitimate the safest practice is to hang up and call the number you have for your physician’s office directly.

Sturdy Memorial Hospital and its Associated Medical Practices has never and will never sell, trade or lend patient personal information to any outside company for any reason. 

Sturdy Memorial Hospital is a full-service, independent, financially stable, not-for-profit acute care community hospital in Attleboro, Massachusetts.