Schuyler officials warning homeowners of new scam

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Officials in Schuyler County are warning homeowners to be aware of a property deed “scam” that may be taking place in Schuyler County.

County Attorney Steven Getman says new homeowners have been targeted in this scheme.

“Reports have surfaced recently of a company soliciting homeowners in the area who recently have completed real estate transactions, asking them to pay $89.00 for records which contain public information about their own property.”

According to County Clerk Theresa Philbin, deeds for every parcel of land in Schuyler County are already recorded and kept on permanent record at the Schuyler County Clerk’s Office.

“After a real estate closing the original deed is returned to the property owner or their attorney at no additional charge and if you ever need another copy, you can request one from the county clerk for as little 65 cents per page and often less than five dollars.

All public records can be searched in the county clerk’s office through its indexes Monday- Friday 8:30 AM- 4:30 PM.”

Philbin and Getman also warned that the assessment profile the company is trying to sell includes information that the homeowner does not need, and that could be obtained for free from the County’s Real Property Tax Division or other municipalities.

Currently, there is no law against companies selling you your own information or a limit on what they can charge.

Getman says the best way to protect yourself is to stay vigilant and informed.

If you receive anything in the mail about your property records that seems questionable, you can contact the county clerk or, in the event of possible criminal activity, local law enforcement.

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