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 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 immediately 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.
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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 via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or on the web at www.norfolkdeeds.org.