Michigan Association of Registers of Deeds and Legislators work to stop unethical private companies from fleecing citizens by selling Deeds.
Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law legislation that will prevent private companies from charging exorbitant fees for copies of deeds that are available from their county Register of Deeds office for only $1.00 per page.
For many years citizens have been solicited by private companies charging as much as $95.00 for their own deed, when they are able to obtain copies of the same deed from their local Register of Deeds office for as little as $1.00 ( free at Wayne County, in person with a copy of your driver’s license showing the same address). Repeatedly local news reports have broadcast the same story across the state, but these companies come back to the various counties and solicit the unsuspecting homeowners.
The scam companies send letters that are designed to look like an official government mailing to lure the property owners into the scheme. We at Wayne County Register of Deeds are extremely appreciative of the legislature taking up the issue to solve this problem to protect property owners.
Under the terms of the legislation, the attorney general can bring action against anyone who knowingly violates the terms of the act. The court can order the person to refund all of the money paid by the victims of the scam with respect to the solicitation. In addition, the company may be ordered to pay a fine of $100 for the first violation of the act, followed by $200 fine for a subsequent violation. Fines collected under this section shall be distributed to public libraries.
PA 79 of 2016 was sponsored by Senators Hertel, Schuitmaker, O’Brien, Knezek, Hood, Young,