St. Louis homeowner says she was duped by deed-recovering service -

St. Louis homeowner says she was duped by deed-recovering service

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- A St. Louis property owner says she is the latest victim of a nation-wide scheme to deliver an unneeded service, then charge a high fee.

Shortly after Ellen Beckman, who’s from the Metro-East, bought a condo in St. Louis, she got something in the mail.

“I received a letter from the national record service stating the government recommends that we get a certified copy of the deed for the property,” she said.

That company, National Record Service, offered to do all the leg work and get the deed for $69. They promised to get it back to her in 30 days.

But the days turned into months.

“But now it’s been five months, and I still haven’t heard anything,” Beckman said.

Sharon Quigley-Carpenter, the St. Louis city recorder of deeds, says deed-recovery services prey on elderly and inexperienced homeowners.

It’s all for a service her office can provide in a matter of days, or minutes.

“You can come to the office, it takes a maximum of 15 minutes for us to find your deed, certify it, pay for it and be gone,” she said.

And what do local officials charge?

“You know, $5 for the first page, $3 each additional page, so if you have a two-page document, it’s $8, if you have a one-page document, it’s $5,” Carpenter said.

Beckmann says she doesn’t want anyone else to make the same mistake she did.

“It’s not the money, I just don’t want other people to be scammed,” she said.

The companies that provide deed retrieval services are not breaking any law.  They claim to provide a service for those who can’t, or don’t want to, make the trip to the recorder’s office.

Carpenter points out homeowners can do it all online, or through the mail.


Powered by Frankly