Register O'Donnell Warns Homeowners About Deed Scam
Continuing his efforts to combat consumer fraud, Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell today expressed his ongoing frustration regarding Norfolk County residents who continue to receive direct-mail solicitations offering them a certified copy of their property deed for an exorbitant fee ranging anywhere from $59.50-$83.00.
Register O'Donnell stated, "These companies are making outrageous profits. If a consumer knew that the Registry of Deeds would provide them a certified copy of a property deed for a charge of only $1.00 per page, plus an additional $1.00 for postage, they would never agree to pay these companies such an outrageous fee for service. The average price for a mailed homeowner's deed by the Registry (usually two pages) is $3.00."
The Registry has heard numerous stories from Norfolk County residents about examples of receiving deed solicitation notices from a California private company. The solicitation was labeled Recorded Deed Notice and requested that the homeowner forward a check to them in the amount of $83.00 for a copy of their deed. A Weymouth resident, who received the solicitation, notified the Registry about the advertisement instead of spending $83.00.
Register O'Donnell stated, "While the practice may be legal, it's certainly not ethical. Clearly these direct-mail companies are preying upon the innocent assumptions of Norfolk County residents, many of whom are first-time homeowners. Consumers are interpreting these notices as a bill, since they are affixed with a due date. I urge Norfolk County citizens not to fall prey to these types of misleading deed scam advertisements."
If you receive such a deed solicitation notice, please contact the Registry's Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, if you desire a copy of your deed, also contact the Registry's Customer Service Center and we will be glad to provide you with one for a nominal fee of usually $2.00.
The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High Street, Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101, or on the web at www.norfolkdeeds.org. Register William P. O'Donnell