Homeowners may make copies of their deeds at county recorder’s offices for 5 to 25 cents per page, instead of paying much larger fees advertised in recent commercial mailings, recorders in the Valley said.
In addition, descriptions of land parcels, buildings on them, their ownership, their appraised values and property taxes due on them are available free of charge from county auditors’ websites, they said.
The recorders made their comments after mailings to recent Valley homebuyers from companies offering them copies of their deeds for fees ranging from $83 to $100.
One such mailing came from Property Transfer Services of Omaha, Neb., which offers to provide the homeowner’s deed and information about the property and its ownership for $83.
The mailing from the Omaha company is labeled as a “deed processing notice,” but it clearly says the mailing “is not associated with any governmental agency.”
Property Transfer Services officials did not respond to a request to comment for this story.
“This has been going on for two or three years,” Trumbull County Recorder Diana Marchese said of such mailings from various companies.
Two to three years ago, the advertised price to obtain a deed from one of the companies was $59.95, but that company now charges $89, she recalled.
Visitors to her office at 160 High St. NW, Warren, may copy their deeds for 5 cents per page, and most deeds consist of two pages, Marchese said.
Trumbull County’s deeds also are viewable and printable from the county website, www.recorder.co.trumbull.oh.us, free of charge, Marchese said. “It’s very convenient, and our website is user-friendly,” Marchese added.
Mahoning and Columbiana county deeds are not available over the Internet.
Theresa Bosel, Columbiana County recorder, said, however, that she hopes to make deeds recorded in 2013 and thereafter available on the Internet beginning March 1.
Visitors to Bosel’s office at 105 S. Market St., Lisbon, may copy their deeds for 25 cents per page.
Bosel said the deed-offer mailings may be misunderstood by homeowners. “It looks like an invoice and sounds very official,” she said of one such mailing.
Some of the commercial mailings lack disclaimers saying they are not government-affiliated, or those disclaimers may be in small type, Bosel observed.
Visitors to the Mahoning County Recorder’s Office, 120 Market St., Youngstown, may make copies of their deeds for 10 cents per page.
All the recorder’s offices charge $2 per page for copying of deeds ordered by mail.
The $2-per-page copying fee also applies to deeds that need to be copied and certified by a recorder or deputy recorder, with an extra $1 charged for the certification stamp in all three recorders’ offices for those who desire certified copies. That means a two-page certified deed costs $5.
A certified deed is stamped by the recorder or her deputy with a seal saying it is “a true and exact copy of what is on record,” Mahoning County Recorder Noralynn Palermo explained.
“Most people just need a regular copy. Some places do require certified copies,” which may be needed for some legal proceedings, Palermo said.