Attorney: Deed notices are misleading

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 8, 2014

Covington County residents who have property transactions recorded in the probate office are being targeted with “very official looking” letters that make it appear they need to spend $83 more.

“What happens is that this company in Sioux Falls, S.D., notes every deed that’s filed, and sends a letter to the grantee of that deed at the grantee’s address,” local attorney Patrick McCalman said.

The letter appears to be a “deed processing notice” and recommends that “all Alabama homeowners obtain a copy of their current Grant Deed.” It also includes information about the person’s property, and provides a compliance date.

The company offers the copy for $83.

“It’s made to look very official, like something you need to do,” McCalman said. “A copy of this deed will cost you $1 at the courthouse, and 99.9 percent of the time, you walked out of the property closing with a copy.”

McCalman explained that the company is able to do this because the records are all available online through a subscription service.

“This is selling snow to Eskimos,” he said. “It’s just a trick.”

Property owners can get copies of their deeds from the probate office.