FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 7, 2009

CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419
Tom Plante, 908-527-4746

 

Union County Clerk Warns Property Owners:
Don’t Be a Victim of Property Deed Scam

 

Elizabeth, NJ – County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi warns home owners in the County of Union and owners of commercial property in the county to beware of people who offer to sell them a certified copy of the deed to their property. Some of these companies are targeting non-English-speaking homeowners.

“Businesses are saturating property owners in Union County with solicitations, offering to sell the owner a copy of their deed,” said County Clerk Rajoppi. “Don’t be fooled by these offers. Normally, you or your attorney have a copy of your deed already.”
 
“It is advisable to have a copy of your deed stored safely with your other important documents,” continued Clerk Rajoppi. “But if you misplace or lose your deed, you can readily obtain a certified copy from my Office usually for less than $20. Scam artists are charging $79.50 or more for the same deed. The price for a certified deed is mandated by the state and is a per-page charge.”

In 2007, Ms. Rajoppi filed a formal complaint with the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General, citing the solicitation of homeowners to purchase a deed at an exorbitant, excessive cost. Consumers who receive solicitations to buy a deed are invited to contact the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs at 973-504-6200 to file a complaint.

If you can’t find your deed, go directly to the County Clerk’s Office where you can easily obtain a certified copy of your deed for the nominal, state-mandated fee: $8 for the first page and $2 for subsequent pages. There is no need to go through a middle-man who charges an exorbitant fee for this service.

Property owners are advised to be wary of people purporting to sell “actual” deeds. Only the County Clerk’s Office has the real deed to your property. The County Clerk is responsible for recording, filing and preserving all property transactions occurring within the county. She maintains copies of all documents since 1857 on file in the Record Room, which is open to the public for reference and study.

To find out more about obtaining a copy of your deed, call the Office of the Union County Clerk at (908) 527-4787, or visit the website: www.ucnj.org. The Union County Clerk’s Office is located in the Union County Courthouse at 2 Broad Street, Elizabeth, New Jersey 07207.