This question is for Town Clerks.  I am still new at this, so I would like
to hear from other clerks about how they handle recording.  Recently we
have been receiving dozens of mortgage assignments and discharges.  What do
you do if the assignment or discharge comes from a bank that you do not
show as the owner of the mortgage?

Example:  We have a mortgage from John Doe to Summit Financial and an
assignment from Summit to Colonial Mortgage.  We have just received an
assignment from Bank of New Hampshire (successor by merger to CRX Bank) to
People's Heritage Bank.  Since I show nothing transferring the mortgage
from Colonial to either CRX or Bank of New Hampshire, what should I do?  I
have been told to record whatever I am sent, but is it my responsibility to
check ownership?  Would you send the assignment back, or record it as is,
or record it with a note that I have questions about it?

Another example:  We have a mortgage from me to Summit, an assignment from
Summit to Peoples, an assignment from Peoples to Wells Fargo, and then
another assignment from Peoples, this one to GMAC.  Finally, the discharge
came from Wells Fargo.  Shouldn't we have received an assignment from Wells
Fargo to GMAC?  And since we were making our payments to GMAC, is the
discharge from Wells Fargo legal?  Am I the only one who has these
situations?  Since this was my own mortgage, I know that Wells Fargo was
purchased by GMAC, but there is no paper trail saying that in the Clerk's

A third example:  We have a mortgage from John Doe to the Small Business
Administration, and a discharge from the Howard Bank, with nothing showing
a connection from the SBA to Howard Bank.

I am also wondering how other clerks record assignments.  Do you make new
index cards showing the various banks as grantor/grantee, or do you just
note the assignments on the original cards?  I am assuming that you note
the assignments in the margin of the original mortgage.

Thanks for any input that you can give me!

Bobbi Brimblecombe, Marshfield