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Front Page » June 5, 2014 » Carbon County News » Not a scam, but service fee is far from free
Published 108 days ago

Not a scam, but service fee is far from free


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

What amounts to paying way over the top for something that a person can obtain for only a couple of bucks is not a scam.

But for many it is close to it.

A Draper-based company is sending out very official looking letters to residents in Carbon County telling them that they can get an official copy of the deeds to their property for around $90. While the letter does put disclaimers in place and even tells those that receive it that they can get the deed that is offered through the letter at a "nominal fee" from the county recorder's office, it can be alarming to people who get it.

First the name of the company sounds much like a collection agency. Records Recovery Service is a legitimate business and is offering a service. But the form that the request that you use their services arrives in looks like an official bill, even though it says right on it that it is not a bill.

Some folks get angry

"This same thing has been happening in Davis County," said Carbon County Recorder Vicki Barnett. "We have had a few people come into our office and report that they are getting the letters now as well."

She said some are really mad about getting the letter.

Barnett says that in actuality what the company offers are in the public record and a property owner can get those documents for free and others can get them for a quarter a page. Many people get these very same documents when they sign all those seeming reams of paper presented to them at closing.

This is not a local phenomenon. Companies with the same name have been reported in other places doing the same thing in such diverse geographical locations as Portland, Ore. and Little Rock, Ark.

The scheme isn't technically a scam, but the form of the letter, that looks like a bill, is misleading.

It appears that most of the people that get these letters have recently purchased property, although it would be easy to send them out to anyone.

What is tricky is that the document sent is just a solicitation for business and not anything official. It even states that the company is not affiliated with any government entity.

In these days of convenience a lot of people pay for a lot of things that they can do more inexpensively themselves, such as washing their own car or mowing their own lawn. This is just another service that offers to provide something that the property owner themselves could obtain easily and inexpensively.

The Sun Advocate could find no resident that has replied or paid the solicitation to see if they did get the documents the letter offered. Upon further investigation the address supplied on the letter is a United Postal Service Store at about 1200 East Draper Parkway. The number on the letter with the address probably indicates a mailbox in that store. Consequently, apparently the business office for the company is not located in that shopping center.

Repeated calls on Tuesday to the 1-800 number listed resulted each time in getting the message that all the company's service representatives were busy.

Carbon residents are urged to read any document they receive in the mail completely and to be sure they understand what sending money to any company will mean and what they will get for the amount submitted.

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June 5, 2014
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