CHARLESTON – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning residents to be wary of companies offering to sell them a copy of the deed to their home.
In the past few weeks, the AG's office said it has received complaints and inquiries from residents who have been mailed official-looking “Recorded Deed Notice” letters. Inside, the letters offer to sell homeowners a copy of their deed for $83. The letters include language that may result in the homeowner believing he or she must comply by a specific date.
“This is an issue that surfaced last fall and is making its rounds in the state again,” Morrisey said in a press release. “Homeowners should know that they are not obligated to pay these entities or to purchase a copy of their deed.”
Morrisey's office said it has received inquiries from residents of Fayette, Preston and Randolph counties who are concerned about the letters, which appear to come from a California company, Record Transfer Services. The letters include the homeowner’s name, address, legal description/ parcel number, and other specific details of the property.
The letters also tell the homeowner to send $83 for a copy of their deed by a specific date.
“These letters are designed to look like a bill when in fact they are a solicitation,” Morrisey said. “Most homeowners receive a copy of the deed to their property during the closing process when they purchased their home.
"If they no longer have their deed or cannot find it, they can contact their local county courthouse and get a copy of their deed from the county clerk, often at a much lower price that what this company is offering.”
Those who think they have been the victim of a scam or have a consumer complaint are asked to call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808.