Orange Co. comptroller warns residents of paying too much for house deed

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

The Orange County comptroller is warning residents about letters that are showing up in property owners’ mailboxes encouraging people to order a copy of the deed to their property.

Channel 9 found out residents who order one may end up paying for something they don’t need.

The official-looking letters usually have “Important” written on the envelope and use phrases like “Official court document.”

“It looks like it came from an official Orange County Court House document,” said resident Veronica Douglas.

One of the more recent letters that have been popping up is from a private company called National Certified Record Retrieval Service.

The letter urges people to order a certified copy of their deed for $56.50.

“We’ve seen them as high as $80 to $85,” said Orange County Comptroller Martha Haynie.

Haynie said she sees the letters every 12-18 months and sometimes they’ll span over an entire ZIP code.

What the company is doing is not illegal, but Haynie said it is a rip-off.

By going to the comptroller’s website, a homeowner can type in their name, find their deed, and print a copy for free

Homeowners can order the certified copy over the phone for $3.

“What they’re doing is a trick and they’re making people pay more than they need to,” Haynie said.

She said the companies must be making money, because it keeps happening and they often target new homeowners.

Haynies said it’s unlikely a homeowner would ever need a certified copy of their deed.

WFTV contacted the South Floirda law firm representing National Certified Record Retrieval Service, but they would not comment for the story.