Homeowners warned about misleading 'deed processing notices'

Notice sells copy of deed for $83

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Attorney General's office and county recorders are issuing an alert to homeowners regarding seemingly official property deed notices.

The notices, often sent to new homeowners and people who have recently refinanced, give an amount due of $83 and a due date for a certified copy of your deed.

"If I didn't look at deeds on a daily basis, I would think it's a government bill that I owed," said Debra Carnes, Hancock County Recorder. "It has property ID numbers that are not correct. It looks very official, so this is something they feel they need to pay and they don't."

The notices are not government documents, Carnes said.

Carnes said a copy of a deed costs $1 per page at most county recorders' offices.

"You do not need to spend unnecessary money," said Carnes, who added her office receives several complaints and questions each week on the notices.

The Call 6 Investigators did some checking and found some of the notices originate from Secured Document Services out of Washington, D.C.

Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney placed a call to the company Friday morning but did not hear back.

The Indiana Attorney General's office has received three complaints against Secured Document Services, and the state is investigating.

The state says they are aware of several other companies with similar "deed processing" offers.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller said the solicitation can often mislead consumers into believing they need a copy.

If you've received a notice or you have paid for this type of service, the Attorney General wants to hear from you.

You can file a complaint by visiting IndianaConsumer.com or by calling 800-382-5516.

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