After one area county recently reported a deceptive letter mailed out to its residents, Audrain County Recorder of Deeds Janis Deimeke is wanting her county’s residents to be on alert.
According to a story written by Ethan Colbert of the Bowling Green Times, Pike County Recorder of Deeds Sherry McCarty gave a warning to area residents of a Jefferson City business that she says has mailed a deceptive letter to many Pike County homeowners.
“This company, Records Recovery Services, is sending out a very official looking letter that says they can supply you with a copy of your property deed for $87,” McCarty said in an interview with Colbert.
According to the county elected official, the letter includes a ‘due date,’ the property parcel number and other information about the property.
McCarty said she became alerted to the letter being circulated in Pike County when she began in October and November to receive phone calls from concerned residents.
“The way the letter reads it almost sounds like this is something that you must do,” McCarty said. “I want people to be aware that they don’t get property deeds from a company like Records Recovery Service. They can get a copy of their deed for less than $5, if they come in to our office.”
Deimeke said the cost in Audrain is just $1 a page and most deeds are only two pages. This means it would only cost a couple of bucks to provide a service this company is overcharging for.
According to McCarty, the process of retrieving deeds is not a time consuming process.
McCarty also said that when she called the 1-800 telephone number printed on the letter, all she heard was a recording on the other end of the line that asked her to call back another time.
Furthermore, McCarty said that the address printed on the letter of Records Recovery Services is the same address of a UPS store in Jefferson City.
When the Bowling Green Times attempted to contact the company, it received a similar response.
A search of the Missouri Secretary of State’s database of registered businesses in the state yielded no businesses matching the name “Records Recovery Services.”
Given all of these things, McCarty said she is concerned how an alleged business like Records Recovery Services would be able to obtain this kind of information.
“While all of this information is public, our property deeds are not online,” McCarty said. “So we are looking into how they are getting that information.”
Ultimately, McCarty hopes her warning will stop a Pike County resident from getting duped out of more than $80.
“There might be others out there who might just write the check because they think that is the only way to get their property deed,” McCarty said. “I hope this helps them realize that there is another way and that by going through our office it will save them time and money.”
Deimeke is also hoping this warning will stop an Audrain County resident from getting ripped off as well.
-Ethan Colbert, of the Bowling Green Times, contributed to this story.