McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Police/Courts

March 18, 2014

County Officials: "Deed Processing Notice" a scam

McALESTER — Pittsburg County officials say a “Deed Processing Notice” sent to area home owners is scam.

Pittsburg County Treasurer Hope Trammel and County Tax Assessor Kathy Haynes said a letter, offering a copy of a grant deed for $83, is a scam because homeowners can get a copy of their deed for $1 at the courthouse.

“When you buy a home a free grant deed is provided at closing,” Haynes said.

“This company preys new home owners and the elderly.” Trammel said.

“People don’t read the whole letter; they just see that it’s got to do with their property, they think they better pay.”

Haynes said some new homeowners don’t realize they get a copy of their deed at closing.

This is at least second time the letter, called a “Deed Processing Notice” has circulated in the area, according to Trammel.

In 2012 the letter was from the Conveyance Transfer Service this year the same letter is from Registered Property Service out of South Dakota. In 2012 company charged $84 this year its $83.

However the call center for both companies is in Westlake Village, California according to Neil Cain owner of both companies.

According to the letter, for an $83 processing fee, the company will provide a copy of the grant deed and a property profile.

The letter also contains information about the residents new home including the sale price, the year it was built, legal property address and other information.

Trammel said that’s something the Pittsburg County Clerk’s office does everyday, for $1 a page.

“You can come into this office and we will give you a copy of your deed for $1, Trammel said.

“And as far as a ‘property profile,’ you can get the entire history of the property for free, it’s all public record. It only takes minutes to do the research.”

She said she can print it out for you for a dollar a page, and most are only one or two pages.

Meanwhile Cain said his company sends the letters out to homeowners all over the country.

And he charges $83 to provide a service.

“We are providing a service of convenience,” Cain said.

He said the $83 fee also includes shipping charges. He also said people who feel they have over-paid can request a refund by calling  888-321-6506.

Both Trammel and Haynes say they people will become aware of letters such as this one.

“If anyone has a question about their deed they can call us at 918-423-6865 or 918-423-4726,” Haynes said.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

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