Olentangy Valley News

Mailings again request big bucks for paperwork

Copies of deeds cost a nickel per page, but scam asks for $89


Delaware County Recorder Melissa Jordan announced last week a second firm has been offering overpriced copies of deeds to county residents.

A firm known as Local Records Office has been sending county residents letters asking for $89 in exchange for a copy of a resident's property deed, according to a recent news release from the recorder's office. The firm's listed address is a box at a UPS store in Columbus.

Anyone can pay 5 cents per page for an uncertified copy or $2 per page for a certified copy of a deed at the recorder's office.

Most deeds are about three pages in length, according to the office.

Jordan warned residents in a statement released Aug. 19 that the mailing was not a bill from a government agency. Although the letter has a disclaimer that states it is "not associated with any governmental agency," Jordan said a detachable coupon on the letter may resemble a bill at first glance.

"Paying attention to the details of any curious mailing may prevent someone from being taken advantage of, but at first blush, it could appear legitimate," Jordan said in the statement.

Last week's announcement marks the second time this summer Jordan has warned county residents about "misleading" deed offers.

In July, the recorder's office warned county residents about a California firm known as Record Transfer Services that was attempting to sell deed copies for $83.

In both cases, the firms seemed to target county residents who recently had been involved in a property transfer. Jordan said the offers include details about the recent transfers that could lend "false legitimacy" to the offers.

Jordan previously has called such offers "misleading at the very least," but would not call them illegal. She said that decision was best left to the Ohio Attorney General's Office and other law enforcement agencies.

After a deed is filed with the recorder's office, it creates a permanent record that is kept on file. Property owners do not need to obtain copies of a deed to ensure their property rights.