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Richard P Howe Jr
for Register of Deeds

Primary Election: Sept 4, 2018
General Election: Nov 6, 2018

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My record as Register of Deeds

Efficiency Through Technology – Since I became Register of Deeds we have scanned 14 million pages of real estate records. Every document from the first in 1629 to the last one recorded on Friday has been scanned and is freely available online. When I began the job, it took four weeks to process a new document; now it takes four minutes. Fifty-five percent of all documents recorded today come to us electronically through secure connections from lawyers and banks, making it easier and less expensive for those buying or refinancing homes.

Homestead Protection – Massachusetts law allows homeowners to protect the equity in their homes from creditors by filing a Declaration of Homestead at the registry of deeds. I implemented a one-stop process that provides homeowners coming to the registry with the necessary forms, free notary service and homestead recording, all within five minutes.

Customer Service – I created a Customer Service Section within the registry of deeds to help anyone with questions about real estate. Whether you present your question in person, by phone or by email, we answer you inquiry promptly and knowledgeably.

Your Deed – Do you need a copy of your deed? Call, visit or email the registry of deeds. We’ll give you a copy. For free.

Legal Judgment – The Register of Deeds is a quasi-judicial official who must pass judgment on documents being recorded. As a lawyer with more than three decades of real estate law experience, I have a clear understanding of what may and may not be recorded and why. People expect solid and fair decisions in these important matters.

Cybersecurity – As a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, I have real world training and experience in protecting electronic information. In an age in which everyone holding digital data is a target, these skills are invaluable in safeguarding the electronic records of the registry of deeds. I have done my best to stay informed of the latest protections and threats by regularly attending expert-led sessions and implementing the best practices in the field.

Statewide Leadership – As the two-time president of the Massachusetts Registers of Deeds Association and as the author of the Massachusetts Deed Indexing Standards, I have played a major role in standardizing computer systems and registry practices across Massachusetts. I am a regular columnist for the quarterly newspaper of the Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts and am a frequent speaker at seminars for lawyers and real estate professionals.

The Future – Much remains to be accomplished. In 2019, the registry of deeds will move into the new Lowell Judicial Center. I look forward to maintaining continuity of operations during the move and taking maximum advantage of the new twenty-first century space to further increase the efficiency of the office.

Richard Howe’s Background


  • Providence College, BA in Political Science
  • Salem State University, MA in History
  • Suffolk University Law School, JD


  • U.S. Army – 1980-1984 – Captain, Military Intelligence
  • Law Office of Richard P Howe – 1986-1995 – Attorney
  • Middlesex North Registry of Deeds – 1995 to present

Professional Accomplishments:

  • Past President, Massachusetts Registers of Deeds Association
  • Editor, Massachusetts Deed Indexing Standards
  • Co-editor, Merrimack Valley Housing Review
  • Columnist, Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts Quarterly Newspaper

Community Service

  • Founder, Lowell Walks
  • Tour Guide, Lowell Cemetery
  • Founder, blog


  • Lowell: Images of Modern America
  • Lowell Municipal Elections, 1965-2015
  • Legendary Locals of Lowell (with Chaim Rosenberg)
  • History as It Happens (co-editor with Paul Marion)