Letters offering copies of deeds for $89 confuse property owners

Letters sent by a Denver company asking Grand Junction homeowners to pay a fee to obtain their property deed and other records are leaving residents confused by the high price for what is usually a free service.

Residents are receiving letters from a company called “Local Records Office” that ask homeowners to pay $89 if they want a copy of their property deed.

The letter states that the company “provides a copy of the only document that identifies (the resident) as the property owner.”

Mickie Rogers, a senior loan officer with Cendera Funding, said she has received several calls from confused clients who think the letters are from the government or the mortgage company.

“People think it’s legit,” Rogers said. “It irritates me, it makes me mad because we give (our clients) that information.”

Even if the letters are misleading, the company is not breaking any laws, according to Mesa County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Heather Benjamin,

The letter states, albeit in small print, that it is not associated with the government and is soliciting a service.

“If people choose to use this business, it is legal and their choice,” Benjamin said.

“What we would caution people about is that any time they are solicited for business, they should always be careful and read everything thoroughly and understand what they are doing.”

Asked why the company charges so much, Mia Delatorre, a supervisor with Local Records Office, responded, “We don’t say they have to get it from us. It’s an optional service.”

Delatorre did not comment further on the price of obtaining records through the company.

Jackie Campbell, director of the Motor Vehicle and Recording Division with Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, said she fields calls about letters like these at least once a week.

“This one’s been around for a while, probably at least a few years,” Campbell said. “It’s unfortunate because it catches the unwary.”

Campbell said “it would be good for people to know” that services such as obtaining property deeds are actually very inexpensive — $0.25 per page at the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

“We tell people that it’s up to them whether they want to pay (the higher) fee,” she said.

Rogers said she advises her clients to always be careful about companies asking for money, especially if it looks like it’s from a mortgage company.

“They send you things in the mail that looks like it’s from the lender,” Rogers said. “You just need to be really cautious ... about what comes in the mail.”


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