Recorder: Solicitation letters could mislead

By BILL POWELL
bpowell@dcherald.com

JASPER — Targeted solicitations that include residents’ names and property information have spawned questions, according to an elected official who says there is a cheaper alternative for anyone who wants a copy of their deed.

The Indianapolis company’s mailing offers to supply a copy of a property deed for a service fee of $89. The solicitation states the company is not affiliated with any government agencies but it is official-looking and includes a respond-by date.

“We would never send you a letter saying you owe $89 for anything,” says Dubois County Recorder Jackie McPherron. The third-party letters look official and contain pertinent information like property ID numbers and property characteristics.

McPherron says her office will make anyone a copy of their deed for $1 per page, with an average cost of $2 or $3. Other property-specific information found on the solicitation can be obtained with a few clicks on the county’s GIS mapping site.

“I’ve heard of these circulating before and we’ve talked about them at our recorders’ conferences, McPherron says.

The company’s name is Local Records Office, which could add to the confusion about just how official the mailing is.

“The guy who contacted me first was an elderly man who did not know what was going on,” McPherron says of residents who have contacted her office and even come to the counter after receiving the solicitations.




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