Don't Waste Your Money: Beware of mailed home deed letters - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Don't Waste Your Money: Beware of mailed home deed letters

(Toledo News Now) - A letter many homeowners are receiving lately appears to come from the government, perhaps even the White House, but it should be handled with skepticism.

State and county officials everywhere are warning homeowners to watch for a letter in their mailbox this fall, urging them to buy a copy of the deed to their home. It's the latest in a series of urgent notices sent to homeowners that many people fall for simply because they look urgent.

Looks Like Something You Need

Like many homeowners, Pat McKendrick signed up for water line protection because a letter made it seem like it was something he needed.

"It sounded attractive, especially since we are living in a home built in 1920," McKendrick said. "We figured we might have some plumbing problems so it sounded good."

It turned out to be money wasted when he was unable to use it.

Deed Letter Showing Up In Mailboxes

Now, homeowners across the country are receiving another mailing: a "deed processing notice," asking for $84 for a copy of the deed to their home.

"It looks so official that people, I'm afraid, are sending money into this company and paying money for something they can get for just a nominal amount," explained Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes.

Rhodes says you don't need a copy of the deed to your home. If you want one, he explains, you can just go to the county courthouse and get a copy for $10 or less. He says "you don't have to pay $85 to get it."

Several different companies are offering these deed services, usually with one thing in common: A Washington, D.C. address making it appear important and mandatory.

"Look how it says 'final notice,' and how they are using an address on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., which, how much more official can you get? The implication is this is coming from the government," said Rhodes.

It's not from the government in any way, and Rhodes and other officials around the country say this is one service you don't need.

The Bottom Line

Anytime you receive a letter that asks you to pay for something, look closely at where it comes from. Is it a government agency, or some company that looks like a government agency, but is not? If so, it may be a case of don't waste your money.    
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