September 19th, 2013 1:39 PM by Jim Ryan
Companies Charging Homeowners forFree InformationCOLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – Some College Station homeowners have recently reported receiving notices from a company offering to provide them with a copy of their property deed for an $83 payment.
However, the mailings fail to mention one thing: homeowners can obtain a copy of their deeds themselves for a fraction of the cost — possibly even at no charge — simply by contacting their county clerk's office.
Turns out College Station residents aren't the first to receive and be concerned about these notices.
A press release issued in July by Lubbock's Better Business Bureau said, "The mailing implies that homeowners must comply within a specified period of time. While the mailing does state that it is not a bill, and that homeowners are not obligated to pay the fee, some consumers have found the mailing confusing and have issued complaints to the BBB office where the company is headquartered."
Greg Linder with the Lubbock BBB said there's nothing "necessarily illegal or wrong" with what these companies are doing.
"On one hand," Linder said, "the banner print and inset boxes on the note give so-called 'compliance response dates,' which seem to demand attention and action, but the small print at the bottom of the notice says it’s not necessary to pay. The bold print and much of the language used in the solicitation suggest that there’s an immediacy to comply and send money, but the 'need' to respond is pretty dubious.”
The company that issued the notices in Lubbock went by the name of Property Transfer Service. In College Station, a company calling itself Record Transfer Services sent the letters.
Article found in the RECON September 17th newsletter