New State Law Tackles Confusing Property Deed Sales Mailings
August 21, 2014
Media Contact: Jerad Albracht, Senior Communications Specialist, 608-224-5007 or Jim Dick, Communications Director, 608-224-5020
MADISON – Wisconsin residents should keep an eye out for
official-looking mailings that offer to sell a copy of their property deed for
$89. What those mailers don’t tell you is that homeowners can purchase a copy
of their deed from a county register of deeds for a couple of dollars.
“Consumers have been concerned and confused about these
mailings for years,” said Sandy Chalmers of the Wisconsin Department of
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). “Because the mailers look
like they may be from the government, people often send money without first
checking out the facts.”
A new state law makes it easier for Wisconsin consumers to
identify these mailings as sales solicitations, not official documents. Mailers
offering to sell copies of government documents must now contain the following
- The mailer must state in 24-point type that it is not
from a government office and that no action is required.
mailer must provide contact information for the official government source
where the record can be obtained and the actual cost of obtaining the
record from that source.
“If you receive a property deed mailer that is missing
these new disclosures, file a complaint with Consumer Protection,” said
Chalmers. “Don’t pay an unnecessary and outrageous fee for something you can
get from your local Register of Deeds for a few dollars.”
For additional information or to file a complaint, visit
the Consumer Protection Bureau at datcp.wisconsin.gov, call the Consumer Information
Hotline at 800-422-7128 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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