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Porter County Recorder Jon Miller is warning the public about a deed solicitation letter being mailed to local homeowners by not one but several different companies, with names like “Local Records Office,” Records Retrieval Department,” and “Secured Document,” among others. Miller says they market a “Deed Processing Notice” or something similar, for 86-dollars a copy – plus an extra 35-dollar fee after a certain date. Miller says per Indiana law, you can get a copy of your deed for one-dollar a page at the County Recorder's office, and most deeds, he says, are only one page.
Here's the full news release: Porter County Recorder Jon Miller is warning the public to be aware of a deed solicitation letter being mailed to local homeowners by not one but several different companies.
“Deceptive practices unfortunately have become contagious in the deed solicitation business,” states Porter County Recorder Jon C. Miller.
These companies market their services of providing a copy of your deed in the form of a “Deed Processing Notice” or other such request, for a fee of $86.00 per copy. They also state that “if (your request is) received after the Compliance Response Date, an additional fee of $35.00 will be required before processing.”
Using a very crafty marketing technique the letter that these companies mail out make it appear that you should respond and pay for their services by a specified date, which is usually just a few weeks from the date of the mailing.
“The services that these companies offer are very inflated, since the same copy may be obtained for the price of $1.00 at you County Recorder’s office” states Miller. “Per Indiana Statute, we are required to charge a $1.00 fee per copy page, and most deeds are only one page. Quite a deal, compared to $121.00.”
Company names that send out these solicitation letters include “Local Records Office,” Records Retrieval Department,” and “Secured Document,” among others.
“These solicitation letters have been mailed to homeowners in Porter and surrounding counties by companies located in Washington D.C., along with one based in Indianapolis,” Miller continues. “I find it interesting that these businesses should have these particular return mailing addresses.”
Miller requests that concerned Porter County citizens drop off or mail copies of their solicitation letters to his office. These copies will then be forwarded to the office of Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and to the Better Business Bureau.
“These types of deceptive business practices prey upon the trusting nature of our citizens. Reporting their existence to the proper authorities will hopefully put these companies on notice and through public awareness save people from being exploited.”