Officials warn of misleading document fee for deeds

County officials are warning local residents about a misleading property deed document fee after several residents reported receiving letters.

Recorder Amanda Lowery said her office has received multiple phone calls about a letter from an entity that calls itself Local Records Office offering residents their property deed documents for an $89 fee.

The offer would provide a property profile that identifies property owners, addresses, values, legal descriptions, parcel numbers, history, neighborhood demographics and public and private school reports.

“The letters look really legitimate and they contain information that really anyone could find out in a public search,” she said. “They’re putting this together to get an inflated price for their deed.”

Lowery wants to remind residents that if they receive the letter that they’re not from the recorder’s office and a request for deed documents at the Jackson County Courthouse would cost residents $1 per page.

“Most of the deeds are one page with some being two pages,” she said. “It would definitely cost less than $5 at our office. It’s our job to provide residents with this information.”

The entity is not affiliated or associated with any government agency, according to the letter sent to local residents.

“This offer serves as a soliciting for services and not to be interpreted as bill due,” the letter read. “This product or service has not been approved or endorsed by any governmental agency.”

A search for the company’s address online shows a UPS store in Indianapolis, according to the Better Business Bureau. When The Tribune attempted to call the Local Records Office at 10 a.m. Monday, it was directed to an automated message that said the office was closed and to leave a voicemail.

Sheriff Rick Meyer and Seymour Police Chief Bill Abbott both said their departments have not received complaints about the letters.

Local Records Office also is not accredited through the Better Business Bureau, and the agency created a profile on the entity Dec. 18, 2012, according to online records.

Lowery said she attended a recorder’s office conference where the letters were a topic of discussion.

“They made it known that the letters have circulated,” she said. “We provide this to people, and these letters have grossly overpriced that information.”