Registrar of deeds warns of solicitation

A county official has issued a warning to Hampden County residents who may be tempted to respond to an offer by an Illinois based company to provide homeowners with certified copies of the deeds of their homes.
In a press release disseminated Thursday, Hampden County Register of Deeds Donald E. Ashe reports that National Records Service Inc. is offering to provide owners, for a $59.50 fee, a copy of the deed to their property. Ashe points out that the company pays only $1-$3 for the documents which they provide to their customers.
On the company’s web site, National Record Service points out that “many government records are available free or at a nominal cost from government agencies” but goes on to say “it is not an easy process to obtain public records from a governmental agency” and claims the “the service provided by National Record Service, Inc. is a cost and time effective service.”
Ashe has a different opinion.
In a telephone interview, he said that homeowners only really need to have a copy of the deed to their home if they are selling or re-mortgaging the property and said, in that case, a lawyer involved in the transaction usually secures the needed copy of the deed.
“The only benefit” to having a physical copy of the deed, Ashe said “is the comfort of having the deed.”
And he said that it is not difficult for an owner to secure a copy.
He said that persons who come to his office can get a copy of a deed for the cost of copying it, $1-$3 depending on the number of pages.
And residents do not have to come to his office, he said, as deed copies may be obtained on-line.
Residents can also obtain a deed by mail, he said.
Ashe said that National Record Service, and other similar companies, “by creating a sense of urgency to have these documents on hand, homeowners are being maneuvered into needlessly paying these exorbitant fees.”
Ashe urges that any homeowners who may be considering paying to have a company secure a copy of the deed to their property on their behalf contact his office first.
The Hampden County Register of Deeds is located in the Hall of Justice at 50 State St. in Springfield. The office can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or by telephone at 413-784-0479.

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