VAN WERT — Van Wert County Recorder Kim Hughes recently reported that several county residents have contacted her office after they received letters of solicitation to purchase a copy of their deed.

One company is located in Columbus Ohio and refers to themselves as “Local Records Office.” Another company, named “First Documents” is located in Corona, California. These mailings are made to look as if they are from an official government records office. These companies are offering to obtain a copy of the person’s property deed for a fee of $83 on up to $89.

“The wording in the letter implies that you may pay up to $89 for a copy of your deed at the Recorder’s Office which is very misleading. Copies of your deed can be obtained anytime from the Recorder’s Office at a cost of 25 cents per page. A typical deed is two pages and costs 50 cents. Any deed recorded after January 1993 may be viewed and copied for free from the Recorder’s website at www.uslandrecords.com,” said Hughes.

The Ohio Recorders Association, of which Hughes is a member, is actively in support of current legislation moving forward at the state level to regulate the solicitation of property deeds.

Hughes added that this is not the first time that these types of letters have been circulated.

“Please remember that once your deed is filed with the Recorder’s Office it is a permanent record of your ownership and protects your property rights,” she said. “It makes no difference whether you have a copy or even the original deed in your possession. Your rights of ownership are safe and secure.”

Residents of Van Wert County should contact the Recorder’s Office for further information or assistance at 419-238-2558 or e-mail at recorder@vanwertcounty.org. The office is located in the Court House, Room 206 at 121 E. Main St., Van Wert. Any solicitation letters brought into the Recorder’s Office will be forwarded on to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for review.