INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Attorney General's Office has filed three new lawsuits against out-of-state companies 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 said the mailings target the elderly and new homeowners. One of the companies uses an address on 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."
The lawsuits were filed 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
- Juan Roberto Romero Ascenscio and LA Investors, LLC, which does business as Local Records Office and Home Owner Title Offices
RTV6 has attempted to contact the companies named in the lawsuits, with no responses as of midday Tuesday.
Officials 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.
Zoeller filed a similar lawsuit in April. Tuesday's action brings the total number of lawsuits involving deed notices to four.