Industry News

How much would you pay for a deed?

Company under fire for charging $60 to $90 for public records

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A company that's charging $60 to $90 to provide certified copies of deeds to homeowners in 14 states has prompted some local officials to issue public notices saying they can provide the documents for less. National Deed Service Inc. and several affiliated companies are sending direct-mail solicitations to homeowners. The solicitations reference a government Web site that advises property owners to keep a certified copy of their deed for their records. In many counties where National Deed Service has sent its solicitations, a similar process has unfolded: Homeowners who receive the letters go to the county clerk or recorder and ask if the offer is legitimate. County officials publish notices informing the public that they provide the same service at a lower rate, which are picked up by local news media. The Clark County, Nev., Recorder's Office advised the public in November that the $69.50 charge that National Deed Service advertised for its services there were "not illegal, but are...