We have written before that usually when our clients record a new deed, they receive an unsolicited letter in the mail. The letter appears to be very official-looking, as if it were generated from a government office. It tells the recipient that it is important that they get a copy of their deed. The letter also offers to provide a copy of the deed for a one-time low payment of $80.00 - when the fee charged by the Register of Deeds office is closer to $5.00 for the same document. The Attorney General has warned consumers that the real scam taking place is that many of these companies are stealing the credit card information being provided.
How the Law Works
A new Michigan law effective July 11, 2016 should put an end to these solicitations. This law requires that any document used to solicit a fee for a copy of a deed must state, at the very top of the document, and in at least 24 point type:
- that the solicitation is NOT from a public body;
- that NO action is legally required by the person being solicited;
- the ACTUAL cost of obtaining the copy from the register of deeds;
- the contact information for the Register of Deeds' office.
The law also prohibits the letter from including deadline dates or language that makes it appear that there is a duty to take action. The fee that is being charged cannot be more than four times the fee charged by the Register of Deeds' office. Finally, the Attorney General has the power to enforce the law, including fines up to $5,000.00.
Questions? Contact us for a FREE consultation.