COST: 50 cents for a copy
LEARN MORE: Call (770) 784-2035
The letter from the National Record Service Inc. looks official, referring to county clerk documents and property that you owe, and saying that the U.S. Government recommends that you obtain a certified or official copy of your property deed.
But the letter is just a solicitation for you to pay $59.50 to get a document that would cost you 50 cents to obtain in person.
“A lot of people have done that,” said Linda Hays, clerk of court for Newton County. “It’s not something that’s illegal, but it’s just wrong.”
Similar letters have been in circulation for a while, urging property owners to attain the records through the Illinois-based service.
According to the Better Business Bureau website, the company, also known as National Deed Services, has a D+ rating, an unsatisfactory rating based on consumer allegations. There were 94 complaints nationally, according to the business bureau, all of which have been resolved.
The business on its website nationalrecordservice.com notes that it is not a government agency and that it offers its services as a convenience.
Hays notes that Newton County residents may obtain copies of deeds and other records at the court clerk office at 1132 Usher St., the third floor of the Newton County Judicial Center. For questions, call (770) 784-2035.