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05/16/2012

Grant Deed Offers May Mislead Consumers, Department Warns

HARTFORD, May 16 – The Department of Consumer Protection is warning consumers about businesses that are purporting to be selling copies of “Grant Deeds” to homeowners. Consumers should be suspicious of any invoices or offers from businesses charging excessive fees for public records that can be easily and inexpensively obtained from a local municipal office.

Homeowners across the country have received mail notices recommending that they obtain their deed for a fee between $50 to $100, if they do not already have the important document. Some notices include instructions for consumers to fax their credit card information, or to send a check in the provided return envelope.

Addresses included in the notices are typically for UPS stores and post offices; no business office locations are provided. These official-looking documents are not affiliated with any municipal, state or federal agency. Several states, including the Attorneys General for the states of Washington and Iowa and the Massachusetts Better Business Bureau have also warned consumers of this scam in recent months.

The Department of Consumer Protection has received complaints from Connecticut consumers about these mailings. One solicitation received in Connecticut recommends that “all United States homeowners obtain a copy of their current Grant Deed” -- for eighty seven dollars -- and further states, “This document provides evidence that the property at _______ was in fact transferred….”

The Department of Consumer Protection advises consumers who receive such offers to not remit the requested payment for the Grant Deed. Anyone in need of property records may access land records at their Town Clerk’s Office, or in some cases, online at their municipality’s website. Copies of land records typically cost one dollar per page and two dollars for a certified record.


Media Contact: Claudette Carveth
Claudette.carveth@ct.gov
860-713-6022
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