Register of Deeds FAQs

  • Are all the documents kept in books? What of there was an accident and the books are destroyed?
    • The older documents, from the time period of 1836 through July 31, 1995 are kept in bound books located in the search room in the Recorder of Deeds Office. Microfilm backups are kept in a safe location for historical retention. Records from August 1995 through the present are keep on our Landex computer system, with disc and microfilm backups.
  • Are any transactions exempt?
    • YES. Conveyances between husband and wife, parent and child, grandparent and grandchild and brothers and sisters are exempt. There are also other exemptions that are allowed in certain situations. It is best to consult your attorney to find out what these exemptions are. IMPORTANT: Non-Profit Corporations are NOT Exempt. 
  • Are deeds and other documents all returned to the rightful owner?
    • YES. Original deeds are returned to the GRANTEE (Buyer), unless we have other instructions. Other documents can be picked up by the proper party.
  • Are the documents at the Recorder of Deeds original documents?
    • No, all documents are copies of the original.
  • Can I prepare my own deed?
    • Yes, but it is usually a good idea to have someone with a certain expertise in the field prepare it for you to make sure it is correct. Attorneys can perform this service for you. IMPORTANT: Employees of the Recorder of Deeds Office CAN NOT and WILL NOT prepare deeds for you.
  • How do I change, add or delete a name on a deed?
    • This can only be done by recording a new deed showing the change. Many people think they can come to our office and change the present deed on record. HOWEVER, once a document or deed is recorded, it cannot be altered or changed in any way. A new deed is needed and can be prepared for you by your attorney.
  • How do I obtain a copy of a record?
    • All records (except for military discharges) are public and open to the public. In the office, retrieval stations with the ability to print copies are available for public use.
      In order to have the copy mailed to you, you must make the request in writing and enclose the fee for this service. We need the name, book, and page number, and a self-addressed stamped envelope of sufficient size. The current fee for mailed documents is $1.00 per page, and $3.00  to certify the document.
       
  • How do I record documents in the Recorder of Deeds office?
    • All documents presented to us for recording must be original, properly executed, signed, dated, and acknowledged before a Notary Public with the notary’s seal signature, and date of expiration, before they can be accepted for recording. All recording fees and transfer taxes are payable at the time of recording.
       
      The document will be assigned an Instrument number, a Volume and Page and it will be stamped with the time of recording and the recorder’s certification will be entered. Receipts will be issued at the time of recording.
       
      A stamped self-addressed envelope for the return of the documents is required.
       
      When the documents have been officially recorded they are scanned and indexed into the Landex Computer system.
       
  • How do I replace a lost or destroyed deed?
    • By obtaining a certified copy in our office.
  • How far back do your records go?
    • Monroe County was incorporated in 1815. The first document was recorded in 1836, and we have been recording and maintaining documents for the county since that time.
  • How is mortgage satisfied?
    • The lender prepares a document called a Mortgage Satisfaction Piece. IMPORTANT: ALL MORTGAGES RECORDED SINCE January 1, 1987 MUST use a Mortgage Satisfaction Piece.
  • How is the additional tax paid?
    • A "Determination" is sent directly to you by the Pennsylvania State Department of Revenue. The additional State Tax and interest are paid to them and they, in turn, issue a receipt to our office. Normally, a matching amount of municipal tax is also due. This is paid by bringing the original deed to our office with a check for that amount. Our office will then affix the State Receipt. The deed is then re-registered and re-recorded for the usual fees.
  • If a woman marries, must she change her name on her deed?
    • It is not legally required that she do so. However, again, because of a particular legal situation, it might be desirable to do so. Please consult your attorney with this type of situation.
       
  • If I build a house on my lot, do I get a new deed for the house?
    • NO. The original deed covers any buildings erected on the lot at a later date. Check your deed for exceptions.
  • If I find a mistake in my deed, how do I correct is?
    • Usually, the same way you change a name - by recording a new deed. In this case, it would be known as a "Deed of Correction." Contact your title company or attorney in this type of situation.
  • Is a transfer between divorced parties exempt?
    • A deed betwen ex-spouses IS exempt from the State Transfer Tax.
  • Is it necessary to delete a deceased spouse's name on a deed?
    • Generally, NO, if the property was held jointly by husband and wife as tenants by entireties. If and when the widow/widower sells or mortgages the property, he or she simply explains in the new deed or mortgage that the other spouse is now deceased. There could be a special instance when, because of a particular legal situation, the name of the deceased spouse should be deleted. Please consult your attorney with this type of situation.
  • Must I record a deed?
    • NO. A deed is binding even if it is not recorded. However, for numerous reasons, it is in your best interest to record it. One good reason: the former owner can go on getting mortgages, judgments and suits on your property since records in the Office would show that he/she still owns it.
  • What are done with mortgages after recording?
    • Mortgages are returned to the MORTGAGEE (bank or financial institution lending the money). The MORTGAGOR is the party receiving the loan and is usually the purchaser of the property being transferred. The original mortgage will eventually be returned to the mortgagor, by the mortgagee, when final payment is made to the lender, and after "Satisfaction" is entered by the Recorder on the original mortgage.
      Once the mortgage is paid it is the responsibility of the mortgagee to have the satisfaction entered on the records. After this is completed, the mortgagee will return the "satisfied" document to the mortgagor.
  • What are the hours of operation?
    • The office is open to the public weekdays from 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM, except legal holidays.
  • What do I do if satisfaction papers are sent to me?
    • Bring or mail the original mortgage and the Satisfaction Piece to our office with the proper fee.
  • What is a statement of value?
    • This is a specific form that is used either to set the value of the property being conveyed or to give reason for an exemption. These forms must be presented in duplicate and are forwarded by us to the Department of Revenue.
  • What is the Real Estate Transfer Tax?
    • There is a State Tax and a Municipal Tax each amounting to 1% of the value of the property or interest being conveyed. IMPORTANT: This is not necessarily the sales price.
  • What kinds of documents are recorded in the Recorder of Deeds & Register of Wills?
    • • Every kind of deed
      • Every mortgage, including mortgage assignments,  extensions, releases and postponements
      • Secured transactions
      • Agreements, including easements (Right of Way)
      • Decrees awarding real estate or quieting titles to real estate
      • Declarations of trust
      • Releases
      • Power of Attorney
      • Satisfaction Pieces
      • Articles of Agreement for sale of land
      • Leases
      • Approval of Trustees
      • Adjudications
      • Severance agreements
      • Election to take action against a will
      • Plans
      • Charters of non-profit corporations
      • Military Service discharges (DD-214)
      • Oath, bond and commission for notaries public, county officers, and all others who receive their commission from the State
  • When is a Statement of Value required?
    • It is required anytime the transfer tax is not paid or anytime the true value of the land is not shown on the deed (such as in a $1.00 consideration). State investigators then check the property and see if the value is as stated or if the reason given for exemption is valid.
  • Where is the Register & Recorder located?
    • The office is located on the first floor annex at Monroe County Courthouse, 610 Monroe Street, Suite 125, Stroudsburg PA.
  • Who pays the Transfer Tax?
    • In most sales agreements, the seller and the buyer split the tax. However, the new owner is responsible if there is any question over the amount of tax paid. The Recorder of Deeds Office will not accept a deed unless the tax is paid at the time of recording. The State and Local Governments do not care who pays the tax as long as it is paid.
       
  • Why is an additional Transfer Tax sometimes due?
    • This occurs when the state investigator determines that the property being sold is worth more than the stated value OR if the reason for exemption is not valid.