Perquimans warns of title scam

By Peter Williams

The Perquimans Weekly

0 Comments | Leave a Comment

HERTFORD — A California company offering to provide residents with a copy of their property deed for $83 — far more than the cost of obtaining the same information from the Perquimans County courthouse.

Perquimans County Register of Deeds Jackie Frierson said she’ll provide the same deed information for 25 cents per page. To get a certified deed costs a little more, but Frierson said a typical one costs $10.

“I wanted to let people know,” Frierson said last week.

The N.C. Attorney General’s Office has gone to court to stop similar mailings including one mailed into the state 18 months ago by another California company called Local Records Office. The latest offer comes from a Record Transfer Services based in Westlake Village, Calif.

Frierson knows of at least one Perquimans County resident that was going to take the company up on the offer but didn’t.

The Attorney General’s office is asking anyone who paid money to Record Transfer Services to contact Julie Daniel in the consumer protection office at 919-716-6000.

Frierson called it a scam and said it’s been going on for a few months.

“When people buy property the closing attorney is supposed to give them a deed as part of that. If for some reason they don’t or they lose their copy, you can get a certified copy and that’s $5 for the first page and $2 for each additional page.”

Frierson said most certified deeds end up costing about $10.

In the letter mailed to customers, the company points out that records are available at their county office for a nominal fee.

“However you will need to go the county recorder’s office in person. You will not be able to receive a profile report as this is proprietary and only deliverable upon purchase of our services.”

Frierson said that’s not true. The information available in the “profile” is information that residents can get for free just by logging into the county’s tax department.

The online records are good for anything after October 1991. For information on things before that, people have to visit the courthouse.