By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller
The fact that you received a notification in the mail is not from a government agency, but rather from a company, looking to sell you a grant title.
“Hundreds of these letters are sent out every month to persons who have bought or sold a home recently,” said Dale Dixon, CEO for Better Business Bureau serving the Snake River Region. “The information in the letter is collected from a title recording at the county where the property exists.”
BBB says be aware of what you’re paying for, before you send a check for a deed you may not need.
Boise’s TitleOne legal counsel Cameron McFaddan says this isn’t the first instance where possible fraud against homebuyers has occurred in the area.
When someone buys a home, and records it through a title company, all the paperwork needed in Idaho is completed, he says.
“There are no extra documents, they receive them all,” McFaddan says.
Grant, Warranty and Quit Claim deeds are typically documents issued at the time of closing, he says. Title companies routinely issue a legal copy to the buyer, and there are no other recording fees.
“The state title association discussed this recently and have made it part of the closing process to tell homebuyers about the possibility of these calls,” he says.
Record Retrieval Department, in Washington D.C., sends out a mailer titled “Deed Processing Notice” that has a disclaimer, in small print, that the notice is not sent from nor approved by a government agency. The charge for processing the “grant deed and profile” is $83.
Recipients should be aware that such documents are available for a small fee from their local county. Real Estate Property Records are public information in the United States, which means anyone can get access to it.