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Barton warns of property deed scam

Thursday, May 10, 2007

OREGON COUNTY -- Oregon County Recorder Dorothy Barton urges county residents to be wary of mail offers to provide copies of legal documents.

Barton said at their annual recorders training conference two weeks ago in St. Charles, the Recorders Association of Missouri notified the recorders in attendance about a private company's offer to obtain copies of property deeds that charges home owners an excessive fee.

She said the Washington D.C. based National Deed Services, Inc. has mailed the offer to residents in Missouri's most populated counties and the Recorder's Association of Missouri is contacting the Missouri Attorney General's office regarding the matter.

Barton said property owners in these areas have received a letter offering an official certified copy of their deed for $59.50. She said the mailing asks for the property owner's name, address and credit card information. Barton said most property owners obtain their original property deed when their property is purchased.

In addition, this company's offer costs significantly more than obtaining certified property deeds directly from the Oregon County Recorder's office. She said fees are $1 per page, plus $1 for the certification and most property deeds are one or two pages long.

"I am concerned about companies trying to take advantage of our citizens, particularly our seniors," said Barton. "I urge anyone receiving this letter to ignore it."

Barton said for a local property owner to obtain a copy of their property deed, they may visit her office in the courthouse at Alton or by writing her office at P.O. Box 406, Alton, MO 65606 or call the Recorder's Office at 417-778-7460.



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