TERRE HAUTE —
Vigo County Recorder Nancy Allsup and Auditor Tim Seprodi are urging county residents to be mindful of companies soliciting to obtain a certified property deed for a processing fee.
That’s because the fees are far more costly than necessary, the officials say.
Processing fees charged for the deeds often are $56 to as high as $87.
The deeds are $1 per page at the Vigo County Annex, at First and Oak streets, and $5 if certified. Most deeds are one to three pages long, meaning the maximum cost would be $8, Seprodi said.
“If someone receives a notice like this and have questions of whether they need it or not, they should go to the recorder’s or auditor’s office to see if it is really necessary,” Seprodi said.
The county recorder’s office can be reached at (812) 462-3301, the county auditor’s office at (812) 462-3361.
Allsup said she first noticed the mailings in 2010 and now has seen an increase in the mailings from companies such as Secured Document Services in Washington, D.C.; Record Retrieval Department and State Record Retrieval Board in Indianapolis; and National Deed Service Inc. in Northbrook, Ill.
The companies are providing a service in exchange for the fee; however, keeping a copy of a deed is most often not required and if needed, can be acquired far less expensively at the county annex, Allsup said.
She said three people have asked her about the mailings, with one person paying for the deed at the higher fee rate. Seprodi said he has had two inquiries in the last month, and one person bought a deed copy at the higher fee rate.
“It is similar to the companies that send out official-looking notices that the federal law requires you to post a minimum wage notice and OSHA notices, when you can get those things from the Federal Department of Labor. The companies charge at least double what you can get those for,” Seprodi said.
Allsup said any property deed recorded is kept in documents by the county and it is not necessary for an owner to have or keep a copy of a deed. “You don’t need to have it in your possession; it is on file,” Allsup said.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or email@example.com.