HOBART — Lt. James Gonzales wants homeowners to be aware of a potential new scam hitting their mailboxes that asks them to pay for a copy of their deeds.
Gonzales said he received an official-looking mailing recently from a company titled Local Records Office that claims to be based out of Indianapolis.
In the letter, the company explains homeowners can pay $89 to obtain the recorded deed necessary to prove the person owns their own property.
"For the unsuspecting person, this document looks like a governmental generated document, but it does clearly state that they aren't associated with any governmental agency," Gonzales said. "I had to read it closely to realize that this wasn't a service that was really necessary, but they imply that they are supplying you with a document that is necessary in order for you to have proof that you own your property."
While the mailing notes property owners can obtain the deed through their local recorder's office, the company's $89 fee is much higher than the minimal fees charged by the the Lake and Porter county recorder offices.
Gonzales advised homeowners against using a third-party company to provide a service that can be provided by a local government agency.
"You run the risk of paying an inflated price for the service or you risk not receiving the service you paid for," Gonzales said.
The Porter and Lake county recorder offices both charge $5 to certify a copy of a deed and $1 per printed page.
If you have any questions about deeds to your property, Gonzales urged residents to contact their local recorder's office.