If you have recently purchased real estate or know someone who has you should read this blog post. Over the past couple of months I have had a very similar phone call from a few clients. In all instances the clients recently purchased some real property. After the purchase was compete, each client received a letter congratulating them on their real estate purchase. The letter also explained how important it is to maintain in their records a copy of the deed which transferred the property to them. If the client did not have a copy of the deed in their possession, the letter offered to provide it to them for a price which ranged from $75.00 to $125.00 for this very critical document.
While I agree that it is always a good idea to keep a copy of the deed which transfers real property to you, the scam relates to the outrageous fee the letter charges to provide you with a copy. Documents that are recorded at the Registry of Deeds for any county are public records. A deed which transfers an interest in residential real property (as well as many commercial properties) is usually one or two pages. Depending upon the county where the property is located, the cost to obtain a copy directly from the Registry of Deeds is either $1.00 per page (e.g. Plymouth County) or at no charge (e.g. Norfolk County). The letter tries to take advantage of people who do not know where they can get a copy of their deed or how much it costs. You should not pay $125 for something you can get for a dollar or two or perhaps for free.
If you don’t know how to obtain a copy of your deed at no or a nominal cost call your lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer or don’t have one who calls you back, you can call or e-mail me and I will assist you in obtaining your deed at no cost.