Need a copy of your home’s deed? It’s cheaper to do it yourself

 

ejester@MiamiHerald.com

Homeowners who received letters recently from a company offering to sell them a copy of the deed on their home might want to think twice before writing a check.

The official-looking letters from Florida Certified Record Retrieval state that the government recommends having a certified copy of their home’s deed.

The letter offers to provide such a copy for a fee of $50, plus $4.50 for postage and handling.

Technically, it’s not a scam. The Davie-based company, which is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, will get the record for you.

A recorded message on the company’s answering service states that Florida Certified Record Retrieval is not affiliated with any state or government agency. It is a private company that buys lists of real estate transactions, which are public record.

The message also states the company has no access to original documents, and cannot change information — such as correcting misspelled names — on a certified copy of a deed.

Although what the company does is not illegal, homeowners can buy copies of a deed directly from their county’s clerk of courts for much less, said David Rooney, Division Chief of Recording at the Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts Office.

To get a copy of your deed:

In Miami-Dade, visit www.miami-dadeclerk.com and select “official record search.” Records are searchable by name.

A scanned copy of the record can be printed from the website, or you can order certified copies of the deed from the same screen.

Copies cost $1 per page, plus a certification fee of $2 per document. The records are mailed within a week.

In Broward, visit www.broward.org, click on “Public Records Search” and then on “Deeds.”

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