Deed scam aimed at Clay County homeowners

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Clay County Clerk Sasha Kelton and the Better Business Bureau are warning of a potential scam aimed at area homeowners.

A company called Record Retrieval Department has been sending North Texas homeowners a notice that appears to be a bill for $87 from the U.S. government for a property deed. The notice states that if homeowners do not respond by June 20, they will be assessed an additional charge of $35.

“However, despite the fact that it looks official, it’s not a bill nor is it from the U.S. government,” said Monica Horton, president of the Wichita Falls area BBB, in a recent statement.

In a notice obtained by The Pioneer Sentinel, the company asks, “Why do we believe you need a copy of your current Grant Deed and Property Profile? State Record Regulation Department recommends that all U.S. homeowners obtain a copy of their current Grant Deed.”

“At the bottom, the letter states that the ‘product or service is not endorsed by any government agency.’ However, the BBB believes that consumers may overlook this fine print,” Horton said.

Kelton noted that all deeds are public record and property owners can get a copy of their deed from the county clerk’s office for $1 per page. Most deeds are two to four pages. Kelton said that in most cases it is not necessary for a property owner to keep a copy of the deed in their possession.

Notices received by Clay County Residents are addressed from 500 E. 4th St., Austin. The address is actually a UPS store located in the lobby of the Hilton Austin Hotel.

The company operates under different names, including Deed Retrieval Services and Deed Retrieval Department, claims additional addresses across the country; most of are UPS stores, according to the BBB.

Kelton urges anyone who received the notice to contact the BBB at (940) 691-1172.

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Pioneer Sentinel

The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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