Deed Recording Scam – Beware!

By: Rebecca Timonen – Paralegal and Asset Alignment Coordinator – Elville and Associates, P.C.

If you recently purchased a home or transferred real estate into your trust, beware of scammers!

Scammers will often mail an official looking letter that will try and fool you into paying $83 -$109. The letters are typically labeled in bold as a “Recorded Deed Notice.” Sometimes they may look like a bill because there is a record ID number, along with a service fee and a “respond by” date. Often the letter/bill states that the homeowner should obtain a copy of their property assessment profile that includes a copy of their deed or recorded title. There are usually details about the property, including address, parcel number, and date of purchase or transfer, making it appear official. There might even be a payment slip and envelope to mail a payment.

YOU DO NOT NEED to pay an exuberant amount of money for documentation of your home. 

Whenever a real estate transaction takes place, a deed will be recorded in the Maryland Land Records. It is important to record your deed to establish a clear title – if this is not done, then it could result in high legal fees to perform title search. 

While recording a deed is necessary, the potential downside is that information then becomes public record through the Maryland Land Records. In particular, your name, address, price, and a description of the property is available online at https://mdlandrec.net/main/index.cfm. Scammers use it to try and convince you that you need to pay top dollar for certain documents.

To combat this problem, it is important to educate yourself, so that you will recognize the scam when you see it.

A solicitation will come to you in the mail.  If you get a solicitation with the above information, do not pay any money. The deed to the property is mailed to you free of charge after the deed gets recorded. If at any time you need a copy of your deed, you can contact the County Clerk who will issue a copy for much less than what the scammers are asking. In general, any solicitation asking you to pay money after you purchase property or transfer it into your trust is a scam. If you have any questions about a deed prepared by our office, please contact us at (443) 393-7696. If you still feel uncertain, you can also contact the County Clerk for further guidance.

Rebecca Timonen is an experienced paralegal here at Elville and Associates whose primary focus is on deed preparation and estate planning document drafting. As it relates to deeds, she drafts, reviews deeds drafted by others, and is a liaison between the firm and the title attorney. She also coordinates out of state deed preparation requests. Once deeds are signed she records them with the various counties, saves them for the firm’s records and returns recorded deeds to clients. 

Recently, Rebecca was promoted to the very important position of Asset Alignment Coordinator for the firm as well.

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