Don’t Be a Victim of Deed Processing Scam

Deed ScamMany of us have been getting letters like the one to the left. It is an invitation to get a copy of your home’s deed of trust. It is also, in my opinion, a bit of a scam. Not a total scam as they are providing a service for a fee, but the fee is over 16 times what it costs you to get a copy of your deed of trust from the County.  Plus, you probably already have a copy and don’t even know it.

The almost-a-scam letter looks very official with the bold DEED PROCESSING NOTICE, bar codes and numerous boxes of information. A bit like a government document. The sanctioned look and feel of the letter does make it seem important and requiring an action step… send them $83.00 now.

Don’t do it though. It is not an official government document, they are not affiliated with the government and there are much less expensive ways to get a copy of your deed if you want it.

Why Do I Need A Copy of My Deed of Trust?

The first question one has to ask, is why in the heck do I  need a copy of my deed of trust? You probably don’t, especially since you can go online and get a non-official copy instantly and an official copy with a few mouse clicks and 16 bucks. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t need more paper in my filing cabinet, especially when there is a minuscule chance of ever needing the document. If you like covering all the bases, you may want a copy though… it is a personal thing.

Where Can I Get A Copy of My Deed of Trust in Phoenix, AZ?

Recorded_Document_SearchYou can order a copy of your Greater Phoenix property’s deed of trust by going the the Maricopa County Recorder’s web site. We’ve included a link below. You’ll need to fill out the on site form. The sites gives you the option of downloading a PDF, unofficial version of the doc or pay $16.00 for an official version. Not sure the actual difference and I suppose it has to do with how you use it. If you simply want to review the documents the unofficial version will probably work. It is the one we Realtor types generally use.

The form to the right is what you’ll see when you go to the Maricopa County Recorder’s site. Just choose deed of trust from the drop down and put in the name you used when you purchased the site. This can be an LLC or personal name. NOTE: You might have used a formal version of you name when you bough the place.

Link to Maricopa County Recorder’s Site:

There is another simple for getting a copy of your deed of trust. When you bought the home/condo/land, your title and escrow company prepared a copy of all the documents for you. Most of them put the stack in a nice pocket folder with their name emblazoned across the front. If you still have the folder, you likely have a copy of your deed of trust. How simple is that?

The 3rd option is to give the folks at Record Transfer Services $83.00 and let them send you what you may already have or could have for as little as $16.00. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do that.

Conclusions About The Deed Processing Scam:

The buy a copy of your deed service being offered in the mail is certainly not illegal. They have obviously taken a lot of time to format their mailing to look legit and important. They admit they are not part of the government and are pretty subtle in their call to action messages. I’ve chosen to call it a scam because that it what it feels like to me. I just have a hard time endorsing a service that takes a product that retails for $16.00 and reselling it for $83.00.

Hope this has been of help. If you need more help, give us a call or toss an email our way.

The Urban Team

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