Rochester -- Monroe County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo today warned the community about a solicitation being mailed to new homebuyers asking them to pay nearly $60.00 for a certified copy of the deed to their recently purchased property. Such copies can be obtained directly from the Monroe County Clerk's Office, in-person or online, for an average cost of just $5.00.
"It's outrageous that a company would try to take advantage of homebuyers by asking them to pay nearly $60.00 for a certified copy of the deed to their home. While this scam may technically be legal, it certainly is unethical, and I encourage anyone receiving a letter asking them to pay such a fee for this so-called service to ignore it. My office will be glad to assist anyone interested in obtaining a certified copy of their deed quickly for just a fraction of the price," said Dinolfo.
Property deeds are maintained by the County Clerk's Office on behalf of homeowners and taxpayers. State law sets the fees County Clerks can charge for the copies of such documents. Recently, New York Record Retrieval, Inc., New York City-based company has been sending letters to new homeowners asking them to pay a $59.50 fee for a certified copy of the deed to their home.
"The mailing is very official looking and even quotes the federal government encouraging people to obtain a copy of their deed," said Dinolfo. "It's obvious this company is seeking to prey on new homeowners and stoke fear that they need a certified copy of their deed to protect themselves. The fact is these records are safely on file in the County Clerk's Office and no harm will come to a homeowner if they don't respond to this intimidating letter."
The Monroe County Clerk's Office offers easy access to certified copies of deed and mortgage documents through its website at www.monroecounty.gov or at its customer service island. The County Clerk's Office is located at the County Office Building, 39 W. Main Street in Downtown Rochester.