A change in the titling of a deed could be beneficial or necessary in the course of updating your estate planning. For example, sometimes you deed a house into a revocable trust to avoid probate or an irrevocable trust to protect it from a nursing home. But, after the deed is filed, the information is readily available to anyone who takes the time to look it up. What they do with that information is something you should be aware of in order to protect yourself from this recent wave of scams.
Several clients have contacted our office to report receiving an invoice from Local Recorders Office offering them a copy of the deed to their home. These letters/bills look very official, arriving in an envelope with a “warning” of a $2,000 fine – 5 years imprisonment or both for any person interfering with delivery of the letter!
What you need to know is that when a deed is filed, the fees for copies are all paid directly to the recorder at the time of filing. So when you file a deed or when our firm files a deed on your behalf, the recorder of deeds will provide you with the original once it’s been recorded and you can make as many copies as you need. There is no need to pay this additional $80+ invoice to receive a copy of your deed.
Here is an example of the scam letter as posted on the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds site: