I received a letter today from the “Title Compliance Board – Department of Records Retrieval”. It looks pretty official and listed my property’s Assessor’s ID on the letter and there wasn’t any “we’re not affiliated with the government” notices on the page as required by law. So far so good.
It said that if I wasn’t in possession of my property’s title deed, it was a critical document that I must have and I had until April 6th (1 week) to request a copy for the processing charge of $79. Wow. Sounds important! How nice that they would apparently provide the service for sending a certified copy of the deed from the County Recorder’s office.
SPIDEY SENSES… TINGLING…
Frankly, I was pretty sure that I had this locked away in my paperwork box but I figured, this couldn’t hurt to have. So I signed the document, slapped a stamp on the envelope and started making for my checkbook. The problem was… something didn’t seem right. The more I thought about it the more my Spidey senses started tingling and so I did a quick search on “Los Angeles Title Compliance Board”.
Lo and behold, look at what I turned up:
- Another Scam Alert!
A REALTOR SPEAKS ON THE “TITLE COMPLIANCE BOARD”
It’s an article from Tracy King, a Pasadena-based Coldwell Banker Real Estate Agent… oops. I mean “REALTOR”. And it points out the embarrassing fact that not only is this some sort of perverse scam going on with this “Title Compliance Board”, (which turns out to be a completely private company and in no way affiliated with the city/county) and that you can order a copy of your deed for $6 on the Internet from the LA Recorder at http://www.lavote.net/RECORDER/Document_Recording.cfm. In fact, if you ever need your deed for a sale, your Real Estate Agent or the Title Company can get it for you.
Okay. On one hand, I wanna pat myself on the back for at least having the presence of mind to check this thing out before I wrote a check. On the other hand, I also wanna slap myself. I was almost easy pickings for some predatory scam.
Thanks Tracy. No one else bothered to write about this in all of the Internet, but you did and provided me with the warning I needed. Good piece of sales/marketing for yourself too and as a salesperson, I salute that kind of sharp thinking.