​For release on July 13, 2012

David Lim, Deputy District Attorney
Real Estate Fraud Unit
(408) 808-3754

Consumer Warning: Companies Charging Exorbitant Rates For Rarely-Needed Real Estate Document   Santa Clara County homeowners can save money by ignoring mailers from companies that promise grant deeds for money; a service that officials warn overcharges consumers for a rarely-needed document.     The real estate fraud divisions of the Santa Clara County and Alameda County District Attorney’s Office issued a joint consumer advisory to Bay Area residents about such mailings this week.   The solicitations come from companies offering to obtain a copy of the grant deed for a fee which can be up to 20 times more than the cost charged by the County Recorder. The mailers say the deeds can be obtained for up to $90. However, the same document can be obtained by individuals for as low as $10 from the county.   Deputy District Attorney David Lim said: “In these tough economic times, we want to make sure that homeowners aren’t spending hard-earned money for something they can get far more cheaply…if they need it at all.”   Officials say that mailers, some of which are being sent from out-of-state, look official and suggest that homeowners should have the document because it will prove legal ownership and help establish the value of their home. Experts say that grant deeds, while establishing ownership, are rarely needed for anything but basic documentation.    Homeowners interested in obtaining a copy of the grant deed to their property can go to their respective Recorder’s website and save money by ordering their own grant deeds.   Santa Clara County Recorder’s Office   Alameda County Recorder’s Office     ###

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