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Va. Attorney General warns against home deeds scam

Monday - 3/10/2014, 12:46am  ET

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Some companies want you to pay exorbitant prices for your home deed. (WTOP/Nelson County)

These official letters aren't so official

WTOP's Kathy Stewart reports.

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WASHINGTON -- Look out, homeowners: There's a new type of letter in your mailbox that might look official, but it's a scam.

"It is a letter that some companies are sending out and [it] looks like it's coming from some official source," says Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.

Throughout Virginia and the country, homeowners say they have received these letters on what looks like official paper.

"The letter itself is not illegal for them to send out, but it's very misleading and it suggests to homeowners that they purchase a copy of their deed" for $83, Herring says.

The letters have the person's property identification numbers and details compliance deadlines and response dates.

That makes homeowners think they must comply, Herring says: "It just creates the impression in people's minds that they're required to do this."

Homeowners who lose their deeds can obtain new copies from the local county clerks' office for much cheaper. Some local court clerks charge as little as 50 cents per page, plus $2 if you want a certified copy.

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