‘Official-looking mailings’ attempt to sell copies of property deeds for excessive fee
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 10, 2014) — Attorney General Jack Conway, the Kentucky Real Estate Commission, and the Kentucky County Clerks Association are joining together to warn recent Kentucky homebuyers to be vigilant of official-looking mailings being sent by “Record Transfer Services” that attempt to sell homebuyers copies of their property deeds for an excessive fee.
“These direct-mail solicitations ask homebuyers to pay an $83 document fee to obtain copies of their current deeds,” Conway said. “These mailings are confusing and misleading, and I want consumers to know that the service isn’t necessary. You do not need to pay exorbitant fees for a copy of your deed. Property deeds and other public records are readily available at your county clerk’s office for a nominal fee. It’s important for recent homebuyers to be aware of these mailings so that they can quickly identify and disregard them.”
The mailing, which is titled as a “Recorded Deed Notice,” attempts to look official. The envelope includes the labels “Open Immediately” and “WARNING: $2,000 fine, 5 years imprisonment, or both for any person interfering with or obstructing with the delivery of this letter.”
Inside the envelope, the mailing contains a number of accurate details regarding the recent home purchase, including the sale price of the home, recording date, construction date, and the square footage of the home. The mailing could also be easily confused as a bill. It includes a respond-by date and a detachable insert to return with a check.
In addition to Kentucky, Record Transfer Services has mailed these solicitations to homeowners in several other states. The return address for Record Transfer Services is listed as 3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite 78, Westlake Village, CA 91362.
Anyone who receives the Record Transfer Services mailing or any direct-mail solicitation that they believe to be deceptive or fraudulent may alert Attorney General Conway’s Office of Consumer Protection at 1-888-432-9257.
A copy of the mailer is available here.