County clerk urges residents to disregard misleading solicitation
HAMBURG — Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns wants homeowners to be aware of a property deed scam taking place in Erie County. Record Recovery Services, a company based out of Albany is soliciting consumers who conducted recent real estate transactions offering to sell them copies of the deed to their home and a property assessment profile. The solicitation, which contains public information about the property, instructs the homeowner to include payment of $87 to obtain these records.
“I want the residents of Erie County to be aware that the entities marketing such requests are not related to the County Clerk’s Office or any other department inside Erie County government,” said Clerk Kearns. “Deeds for every parcel of land in Erie County are recorded and maintained on permanent record at the County Clerk’s Office. The original deed is returned to the property owner or their attorney after closing at no additional charge and if you ever need another copy, you can request one from my office for $5.”
The “property assessment profile” they are trying to sell includes information that, not only does the homeowner not need, can be obtained without cost from the County Real Property Tax Division or the town or city where the property is located.
Because there currently is no law against companies selling you your information or a limit on what they can charge, Kearns says the best way to protect yourself is to stay vigilant and informed. If you receive, anything in the mail about your property records that seems questionable, Kearns encourages you to contact his office at 858-8866.
Kearns also wants property owners to know they may at any time request a copy of their property deed by mail; include name, property address, and phone number, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope, and a check or money order made payable to the Erie County Clerk for $5. For your convenience a deed request form is available on the Clerk’s website at www.erie.gov/clerk/deedrequest.