Recorder issues warning about obtaining home purchase deeds

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Home buyers especially those who are buying their first house are being advised against responding to offers to provide a new deed to their home, when it can be obtained easily and inexpensively at the Bartholomew County recorder’s office.

Bartholomew County Recorder Tami Hines has joined the Better Business Bureau and the National Association of Realtors to ask the public to be leery about a company that calls itself “Local Records Office.”

It appears that whenever someone buys a house, creates a new deed, or adds a name to an existing deed, that person will receive a letter from “Local Records Office” that asks them to send a check for $89 as a service fee for providing the new deed.

“However, you can come to (the Bartholomew County recorder’s) office and get the same thing for only $1 per page,” Hines said.

Since most deeds are two to four pages, the total cost at the recorder’s will only be $2 to $4, Hines said. Her office is located within the Bartholomew County Governmental Office Building at 440 Third St.

What “Local Records Office” is doing is completely legal, so it cannot be called a scam, Hines said. In fact, the letter contains two disclaimers that inform the recipient that the company is not affiliated with any form of government, and nobody is under any obligation to pay the $89.

Nevertheless, two Bartholomew County residents who had received the letter contacted Hines’ office in the same day to ask whether they had to pay the requested amount, Hines said.

For the complete story, see Tuesday’s Republic.