Recorded Document Scam

Wray Harrison, Attorney

Whenever you purchase real property or even refinance it, that transaction becomes part of the public record. Documents conveying interests in real property transactions are recorded after closing at the appropriate County Register of Deeds office.

Unfortunately, there is always someone trying to take advantage of public information. A common scam is a letter or postcard you may receive a few days after closing. It is marked “URGENT” or “IMPORTANT” and it makes a general statement that documents have recently been recorded in your name. It also states that this may be your last chance or opportunity to get a “copy of your recorded documents” for a small fee of anywhere from $79.00 to $149.00.

Do not fall for this. In fact, if you receive one of these notices, please report it immediately to the Consumer Protection Division of the NC Attorney General’s office. It is an unfair and deceptive trade practice. Here is why. Your recorded documents are public information (that is how this deceptive company got the information in the first place); and you can obtain a copy of any recorded documents for free. Just go to your County’s Register of Deeds website and search under your name; then click on your recorded documents and print them. It’s free. You can search your neighbors or your friends – anyone you want, it is all public information. This form of document retrieval is utilized for free every day by abstractors and attorney offices when they are performing their title searches. If you need any assistance in finding your recorded documents online or navigating the website, just contact your local Register of Deeds office and they will be happy to assist you.

Wray Harrison

Harrison & Devins, PA