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Deed "Scam" Persists; Dinolfo Calls On Attorney General To Act

Tue, Mar 25 2008

Rochester -- Monroe County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo today asked the New York State Attorney General's Office to "investigate and take all necessary steps" to stop New York Record Retrieval, Inc. from soliciting consumers to pay nearly $60.00 for a certified copy of the deed to their home. 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. Dinolfo previously warned the community and asked New York Record Retrieval, Inc. to stop this unethical practice last November. However, the company has continued to mail intimidating letters to homeowners implying that the federal government endorses its service.
"The actions of New York Record Retrival, Inc. are disgraceful. Every homeowner should continue to ignore any letters or other solicitation by this firm. Further, I hope that the New York State Attorney General's Office will do everything in its power to stop this scam," said Dinolfo. "Even if this company's actions are determined to be technically legal, there is no doubt that they are unethical and should be stopped."  
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. Since fall of last year, 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.
"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," said Dinolfo. "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. Also, homeowners can rest assured that 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 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.
Download a copy of the letter to the New York State Attorney General