Buyer Beware - Homeowner Beware - Deed Retrieval Service Mislead Many Homeowners

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Managing Real Estate Broker with CDV TransAtlantic, Inc. BK646565
http://actvra.in/4tfT

Buyer Beware - Homeowner Beware - Deed Retrieval Service Mislead Many Homeowners

Last week I received an email from my client who recently purchased her Lakeland FL home inquiring about her Deed.  She wrote the following:

Petra,
 
I have a question for you.  I'm wondering about how long it takes to receive the deed for the house, and where it will come from.  Last week I received something in the mail that seemed suspicious to me.  It says it's from the "State Record Retrieval Board" and is from California.  It says to receive a copy of my own deed I need to send them $87.  This just doesn't seem normal to me, so I thought I'd ask you. 
 
Thanks,
Sandy
I'm glad she asked. There are homeowners who may think that is letter was sent by a government agency and quite honestly I thought the same thing when I glanced at this letter first.  

I responded to Sandy, that this seems very suspicious and it was not necessary to send them any money because she had already paid ($10.00) to Polk County FL for the recording of the deed when she closed on the house. 

While this letter does state at the bottom - "This is not a bill.  This is a solicitation" - it is truly misleading to many new homeowners and it is borderline scam.  

Homeowners! If you happen to receive such a letter, do not pay $87.00.  You can obtain a copy of the recorded deed by going to the Clerk of Courts office and pay as little as $10.00.  

My client was kind enough to send me the letter and I have included this letter so you can see what it looks like. 
 

 

Deed Solicitation
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Anonymous
Mike in MA

I got the exact same letter except that I live south of Boston, MA, and the letter has a Boston return address. I usually spot solicitations from a mile away but this one had me guessing. Yours was one of the first websites I encountered when I googled "state record retrieval board scam" so I thank you for this posting and for the picture of the letter.

This is February 2011, more than six months since the date of the above letter "respond by" date, so the "company" is alive and well apparently and has offices in each state most likely. 

Mike

Feb 19, 2011 08:01 AM #1
Rainmaker
707,284
Petra Norris
CDV TransAtlantic, Inc. - Lakeland, FL
Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale

Hi Mike - I appreciate your comment. I'm happy you found this article and are now aware of this scam.  I'm glad this helped.

Feb 19, 2011 08:47 AM #2
Anonymous
nancy

I also received a deed retrieval service letter on 2-28-11.  Immediately, I knew it was a scam letter since my title co. had already given me the information.  Someone needs to shut them down forever.

Feb 28, 2011 05:39 PM #3
Anonymous
Jeanette

We bought a house in Louisiana about three months ago and today we received that very letter tht you posted. I googled information on deed retrieval and came across your site. I am so happy that i did because I know nothing about this and was about to write a check and mail it. THANK YOU

Mar 23, 2011 05:01 PM #4
Rainmaker
707,284
Petra Norris
CDV TransAtlantic, Inc. - Lakeland, FL
Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale

Hi Jeanette, I'm glad my article helped you save money :)

Mar 24, 2011 12:22 AM #5
Anonymous
John
What a scam! We got one to. Looks like a bill, but it's just a waste of $87!
Apr 21, 2011 01:57 AM #6
Rainmaker
707,284
Petra Norris
CDV TransAtlantic, Inc. - Lakeland, FL
Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
Thanks Mike for the comment. It's interesting to see these crooks are all over to scam homeowners.
Apr 21, 2011 05:25 AM #7
Rainer
19,303
Sean Dougherty
RE/MAX Alliance - Fort Collins, CO

It's back.  My clients just got one yesterday, and it's 2012.  Thanks for the article, I'm going to share it on FB so others don't get scammed.

Jan 19, 2012 08:17 AM #8
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Petra Norris

Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
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