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Misleading mail concerning deeds

Channel 3 in Philadelphia recently reported on an ongoing scam. Some call it a scam that arrives in your mailbox. Consumers receive official looking envelopes that appear to be from a government agency. But consumer activists advise you may want to look twice before you get taken.

A letter from Washington, DC or South Dakota that has all kinds of penalties and fines quoted on the envelope and looks real official has been mailed to many Greater Philadelphia area  residents. Inside, it looks even more official. There is a bar code, details about your home and a notice that you should send $83 dollars to get a copy of your deed, a document used to transfer or prove ownership of a property.

“They look in many cases like a bill,” said Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds, Nancy J. Becker.” But Becker says, it’s anything but a bill and some of the information on the notice is misleading. Companies can purchase homeowner’s information, then resell it at greatly inflated prices.

“There are other ways of getting a copy of your deed that avoid paying these companies these exorbitant fees,” said Becker. If you own a home, there’s a good chance you already have these documents. A copy of the deed to your house is usually with the papers you get shortly after you make settlement on your home.

If you do need to get a copy, the price is much more reasonable if you get them on your own from the Recorder of  Deeds. And if your deed was recorded by Grateful Abstract, we will provide you with a copy free of charge.

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