By Wayne Gates –
Brown County Recorder Amy Jo Declaire is warning property owners of a deed scam making the rounds.
Declaire said that some people have been getting letters in the mail from a company called “Local Records Office”. The letter offers to provide homeowner’s with a copy of their Deed and Property Profile for a fee of $89.00.
“Our website is free for people to check public records back to 1994,” said Declaire.
“These private companies are using that public information to garner a profit at an inflated price. They are charging you to do something you can do for yourself essentially at no cost.”
Declaire said the strategy appears to be an attempt to catch property owners at a vulnerable time.
“They have a tendency to do it at a time when people are more vulnerable like right after a property transfer or at property tax time,” Declaire said.
“They look very similar to an invoice to prey on people who don’t know any better.”
Brown County charges $2.00 per page for a deed plus an additional $1.00 to certify documents as set forth by the Ohio Revised Code.
Declaire’s office offers uncertified copies for ten cents a page or for free at www.uslandrecords.com.
The company that Declaire is referring to is on the internet as www.localrecordsoffices.com. The company has a disclaimer page that reads;
“The Local Records Office is an analysis and retrieval firm that uses multiple resources that provide supporting values, deeds and evidence that is used to execute a property reports and the copy of the most recent Deed recorded.
Local Records Offices is not affiliated with the County in which your deed is filed in, nor affiliated with any government agencies.
This Service to obtain a copy of your Deed or other records of Title is not Associated with any Governmental Agency, you can Obtain a Copy of your Deed or other records of your Title from the County Recorder in the County where your property is located in.
This Product or service has not been approved, or endorsed by any government agency, and this offer is not being made by agency of government.
This is not a bill. This is a Solicitation; you are under no obligation to pay, unless you accept this offer.”
Declaire said that the Ohio Recorder’s Association is lobbying state legislature to make solicitations like this an offense.
She added that anyone with any questions can contact the Recorder’s office at 937-378-6478.