Important Information from Atty. Michael P. Coleman of Lantz Law, Inc.
Do you enjoy paying for things that you can otherwise get for free? If not, please read on.
A company located in California has recently mailed to one of our clients a document titled “Recorded Deed Notice.” The company advertises a “Property Assessment Profile”, which it will kindly prepare for you for a reasonable fee of $83.00. The mailing has the appearance of a bill and warns the recipient of possible fines of $2,000 or jail time for failure to comply.
The catch? Everything they offer can be obtained for no cost at all. So it’s like paying for water in a bottle – crazy, right? Someday they’ll be selling us air. The fine print on the document clarifies that it is indeed a solicitation, but it is easily to be confused by the presentation of this mailing.
The company claims that there is certain information that is useful to “understand a subject property’s makeup.” This information consists of tax assessed value, tax delinquency, area comparable values, legal description, current owner information, and parcel ID number. The tax assessed value and Parcel ID can be obtained by calling, or visiting the website of, your town assessor’s office.
As for tax delinquency, who would know more about that than you? Area comparable values can easily be obtained by visiting a website such as Zillow—it takes no more than a few minutes to enter your address and access a map of your neighborhood with the estimated value of your property. Finally, the legal description of your property and owner information (psst.. you own it!) can be found on the deed you received when you purchased it. That deed is also on record at the Registry of Deeds and can be seen online or obtained from the Registry itself for no fee.
So, if you or someone you know receives this type of mailing or something similar, please don’t pay for the services offered—the information and documents can be obtained easily and at no cost. Please share this information with any homeowner—specifically seniors, who might be fooled by this proposal.
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