I want you to know about a real-estate scam that’s surfaced in our area recently. Unfortunately, it preys on people’s unfamiliarity with real estate transactions, and may end up costing you money you don’t need to spend. Fortunately, you have a resource in the form of a trusted, professional realtor, to ask questions and get answers.
What The Scam Letter Looks Like:
The letter comes as an official-looking document from the ‘National Processing Center’, and is labeled with a return address to the ‘Record Retrieval Department’ in Washington, DC. (See link in this blog/email). The root of this scam is that it makes it look like you MUST get a copy of your deed, and that you MUST get it through their organization, at a cost of $86.00. There is even a deadline, and a penalty for returning the request after the deadline. Only on the 2nd page of the document, after a lot of legal definitions and other information, is a disclaimer which states that the company is not affiliated with any government, and that it is a ‘solicitation’, not something you have to do.
What You Should Do:
The important thing to remember is that this is an offer to do this work for you, NOT something you MUST do. Understand that you should have a copy of your deed with your legal documents from the closing of your home. In Wake County, you will be mailed a copy of your deed once it’s recorded.
How To Get A Legal Copy Of Your Deed:
Even if you have lost that information, you probably don’t need to have a copy on hand unless you’re in the process of doing something with your home, such as preparing it for sale, refinance or some other matter. And EVEN if you do want to get another copy of your deed, you can do this yourself, usually at little or no expense, through your community’s register of deeds. For example, you can get your own, certified copy of your deed through the Wake County Register of Deeds office for $5 dollars for the first page, and $2 for any other pages. Regular, non-certified copies are 15 cents per page. Read more here: http://rod.wakegov.com/index.aspx?page=69
It is unfortunate that this kind of solicitation takes advantage of how infrequently most people deal with real estate matters. Fortunately, a trusted, real estate organization like Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® is available to give you advice when you are confronted with something that looks official, but in actuality is a scam. If you have any other questions, feel free to give us a call at (919) 235-0007.