Chesterton Tribune

 

 

County Recorder: No need to pay $89 to private firm for copy of your deed

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Porter County Recorder Jon C. Miller is alerting folks to be aware of a solicitation letter being mailed to county residents by an Indianapolis company named Local Records Office.

“Local Records Office sends government-like mailers to Indiana consumers offering copies of deeds and ‘property profiles’ for a fee of $89,” Miller said. “These mailers include a homeowner’s property address, owner’s name, comparable values and a parcel identification number--all of which is publicly available information. They also state that you should respond to this letter by a certain date.”

Property deeds--which are usually one to two pages--are public records and county recorders can provide copies for a nominal cost.

“The services that these companies offer are very inflated, since the same copy may be obtained for $1 at your County Recorder’s office,” Miller said.

Homeowners are not required to have copies even when they go to sell a property.

“Deceptive practices unfortunately have become contagious in the deed solicitation business,” Miller said. Indiana law discourages the resale of the recorded documents by commercial entities.

“Many citizens that receive this letter believe it to be a notice from a governmental agency requiring them to pay fees for required documents,” Miller noted. “It is extremely important for consumers, particularly new homebuyers, to contact their county recorder’s office if they have any questions about copies of documents or fees related to homeownership.”

The County Recorder’s office can be contacted at (219) 465-3465 or in person at the County Administration Building, 155 Indiana Ave. in Valparaiso, Suite 210.

Miller added that if you have any doubts about a mailing offering to provide a government service, contact the entity directly to confirm the solicitation’s legitimacy.

If you have received a notice or paid for this service, you can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office by visiting www.IndianaConsumer.com

You may also request a complaint form to be mailed to you from the Attorney General by calling (800) 382-5516.

 

Posted 6/16/2014