12/31/10 — Duplin register of deeds warns of mailer scam

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Duplin register of deeds warns of mailer scam

By From staff reports
Published in News on December 31, 2010 1:46 PM

Duplin County's Register of Deeds Davis Brinson is warning citizens to beware of a misleading mailer that has been sent to some Duplin County residents.

The mailer is coming from a company calling itself the State Records Retrieval Board. It comes in an official looking envelope and offers to obtain a copy of the deed to the recipient's property at a very exorbitant cost when in actuality the copies can be obtained for very little to no cost.

The letter being sent to unsuspecting property owners recommends that every citizen of the United States have a copy of their property deed. The company claims that the property owner can obtain a copy of their deed by returning an order form which is attached to the mailer along with a processing fee of $87. It goes on to say that if the order is not received by a requested date then an additional $35 will be added to the processing fee.

The truth is that if you own property in North Carolina the only place that you can get an official copy of your deed is at the register of deeds office in the county in which the property is located.

According to Mr. Brinson, a copy to any deed to property in Duplin County can be obtained free of charge by visiting the Register of Deeds website at rod.duplincounty.org. Additionally, for those individuals who do not have access to the Internet or would prefer to visit the Register of Deeds Office in person, copies can be obtained for as little as 25 cents for an uncertified copy and $5 for a certified copy.

Brinson said the so-called "board" is not a board at all. In fact, it is not affiliated with the State of North Carolina, Duplin County nor any government agency. The State Records Retrieval Board is a California based company, which according to the Better Business Bureau's website has an "F" rating due to the fact that the company has failed to respond to consumer complaints and also because their advertising is grossly misleading.

The mailer's return address makes it appear that the business is located in Charlotte. However, the return address on the mailer is not a physical business address for the company but a UPS Store in which the California based company can receive mail in North Carolina.