October 3, 2013 10:04:17 AM
A company operating as "Record Transfer Services" based out Wilmington, Del., has been mailing notices to people who have just purchased property in Lowndes County to sell them copies of their deeds for $83.
Lowndes County Chancery Clerk Lisa Younger Neese said people can come by her office to get that same document for $2.
The "deed processing notice" lists the company's address as "1000 N West Street Suite 1200, Wilmington, Delaware 19801."
Neese said she and her deputy clerks have received several inquiries about the notices. She warns people who receive the letter not to send the company the bloated processing fee.
"Back in the summer it was really bad," she said. "It's died down, but we think it's starting up again because we got two customers (Tuesday who asked about it). It's just a scam. It's somebody trying to make money."
The notice states property owners should detach a portion of the letter containing the property number along with a check for $83 to receive their documents and report within 21 business days. The company clarifies that it is not affiliated with Lowndes County or any government agencies and the offer "serves as a solicitation of services and (is) not to be interpreted as a bill due."
"People can come by and get a hard copy of the deed," Neese said. "Deeds are usually two pages and the certification is two pages."
Publications across the country have reported notices from the same company being sent to landowners, including the Meridian Star in Mississippi.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
1. Local pilot gets 10 months in British jail for alcohol COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. City: Law supports slashing businesses' hours COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Mother of downtown shooting suspect jailed for allegedly threatening witness COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY