By Ted Brown
I recently took a call from an existing trust client who was very concerned about the ownership of her home. She had received a letter in the mail from the “National Deed Registry” informing her that she did not have an “official” deed to her home and therefore was in danger of losing clear title to it. The letter offered to send her an “official” deed for a fee of only $57.00.
The reality is that there is no national deed registry. Deed records are solely the function of county government. Every county recorder’s office maintains the official deed records of the property in their county. A truly official deed is one that complies with local requirements and is on record with the county. Most property owners possess the original deed marked by the county on the date it was recorded. The county usually holds a copy.
If you do not have the original deed to your property, you can obtain an official copy from the county deed records. Contact your local county recorder’s office for more information. If you ever need a deed prepared contact a local attorney.
There are a variety of scams out there claiming to offer formal deeds for a fee. These usually derive from individuals trolling real estate transfer records to find property that has recently changed hands. If you have recently transferred your property to a trust you may receive a similar letter. This is nothing but an attempt to get you to pay for something you already have.