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City, County Officials Warn About 'Unnecessary' Deed Sale Letters

Homeowners are not required by law to have a deed copy, but if you want one, the county clerk's office provides copies for a nominal fee.

Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown warns residents to be alert to companies that pitch sales of property deeds. Photo credit: Patch file photo
Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown warns residents to be alert to companies that pitch sales of property deeds. Photo credit: Patch file photo
If someone offers to sell you a copy of the deed to your home, city and county officials want you to know you don't really need to buy one. 

A property deed sales pitch that officials describe as "unnecessary" is being sent to homeowners in Farmington Hills and other cities in Oakland County. Out-of-state or third party companies offer to sell deed copies for prices that usually range from $50 to $100.

According to a City of Farmington Hills release, citizens should be cautious because these offers appear as though they are sent from the City, the County, or another official government entity. The letters also imply that homeowners are required by the government to have deeds in their possession.

“We have received several calls about these unnecessary property deed sales pitches and the amount charged is always around $80,” said Matt Dingman, city assessor in Farmington Hlls. “I’d hate to see someone fall for this when homeowners are actually not required to have these documents.” 

The third party solicitations often fail to mention, or mention in fine print or a disclaimer, that property deed copies can easily be obtained from County government for a nominal fee. The Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds provides records for $1 per page, and property deeds are typically only one to two pages long.  

You can also access your property records online at www.oakgov.com/clerkrod/.

There is currently no law against companies selling you copies of your own property deed, and there is no limit to what they can charge. Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown says the best way to protect yourself is to stay vigilant and informed. 

To learn more, or if you receive a letter that concerns you, call the Deeds Department at 248-858-0581 or stop by the office at 1200 N. Telegraph, Building 12 East in Pontiac.

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