INDIANAPOLIS - A California company named in a lawsuit filed by the Indiana Attorney General denies its deed notice mailers are misleading the public.
“We firmly believe the state’s case lacks any merit and we plan on presenting a vigorous defense to the litigation,” said Jason Massaro, an Indianapolis attorney representing Juan Roberto Romero Ascenscio and LA Investors LLC also doing business as Local Records Office and Homeowner Title Offices.
The Indiana Attorney General's office filed three new lawsuits against out-of-state companies that officials said were duping property owners into spending money on deed copies that can be obtained for little or no cost.
The companies sent out mailers offering copies of deeds for prices that ranged up to $89.
Property deeds are public record and can be obtained for free or for $1 a page.
Attorney General Greg Zoeller joined five county recorders Tuesday to announce the lawsuits. The recorders said they don't solicit deed copies through the mail.
Zoeller criticized LA Investors, LLC/Local Records Office/Home Owner Title Offices for using an address at the UPS Store at 133 West Market Street in Indianapolis, the same street as many downtown government offices.
"When you mislead people into believing you're a government entity, that's not something we take lightly," Zoeller said. "The con is to bring you in and make you believe we're somebody legitimate. So they've borrowed whatever credibility the government has and they're taking advantage of that."
In an answer filed by Massaro, he admitted that Local Records Office has an address at 133 West Market Street, but denied the address was used to receive payments and correspondence related to solicitations to Indiana consumers.
The Attorney General’s office also criticized the company for formatting the solicitation as an invoice and creating urgency by including a response deadline.
Officials also said Ascenscio's companies sent mailers that read "Important Property Information Respond Promptly," including a warning about fine or imprisonment for interfering with mail delivery.
In the company’s response, they deny the solicitations mimic government communication.
The Attorney General also filed lawsuits against the following companies:
• Brian Pascal and BWPRS, Inc., which does business under the name of Record Retrieval Department and Secured Document
• Neil Camenker and Transaction Data Services, LLC, which does business as Conveyance Transfer Services, Compliance Document Services, Secured Document Services, Property Transfer Services and Record Transfer Service