The Certified Deed Scam

Excited to be in your new home after a grueling experience in trying to get your loan approved, getting the Seller’s out of the house, fighting with the movers and the barrage of paperwork, you proudly stroll out to your new mailbox after finally getting settled in.  Flipping through the usual junk mail and the third verification from the Electric company that you did in fact move, you run across an official looking piece of mail from the DuPage County Records Center, or the Illinois Deed Provider or something similar.

The language in the letter is clear, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU OBTAIN A CERTIFIED COPY OF YOUR DEED.  Luckily, this company has the resources to obtain the certified deed from the county for $69.00.   This bargain is pretty good considering the time it would take to drive to the County and find the right office and explain to the government worker that you need a Certified Copy of the deed in order to protect the dream house that you just purchased.  After all, the letter makes it clear as It quotes the “U.S, Government Federal Citizen Information Center” Web site, which recommends that property owners have a deed to protect ownership of their property.  You walk into the house and show the letter to your wife who raises an eyebrow and comments that “I thought that lawyer was taking care of everything.  Isn’t that what we paid him for?”

Although calling it illegal is not correct, it is certainly a scam.   At the closing, you received a copy of the deed.  The original deed will be recorded with the County Recorder’s office and either mailed directly to you by the County, the title company or your attorney.  There is absolutely no reason why anyone needs a certified copy of your deed.  In fact, you do not even need a copy of the deed.  The original deed is recorded and public record.  In most counties, you can go to the Recorder’s office website, type your name in the search bar and get a copy of your deed. For a nominal fee, most Recorder’s offices will even certify a copy to you.   Certainly, the fee is significantly less compared to the fee offered by the DuPage County Records Center or the Illinois Deed Provider.

Whenever you received something that does not appear quite right, please call your attorney for clarification.  You engaged our services to assist in your Real Estate transaction and our services do not end simply because the closing has taken place.    Please call us anytime you have a question about your closing or the home you just purchased.  [email protected].  630-832-2333