Attorney General Bruning Says Watch Out for Home Deed Scam

Lincoln, Neb – Attorney General Bruning wants to warn Nebraskans about a certified deed scam. The Lancaster County Register of Deeds Office received more than 20 requests for certified deeds on local homes from a company called National Deed Service in the last few months.

National Deed Service preys on vulnerable Nebraskans, often first-time homeowners, senior or non-English speaking households. The company contacts people by mail. The letter says homeowners should have a copy of a certified deed to document homeownership. If they don’t, the company offers to provide one for $69.50. The price of a certified deed through the Register of Deeds office is usually less than $5. The Attorney General’s Office has received several complaints.

“Beware of companies using public information for profit,” says Bruning. “Deeds don’t cost big bucks, and you’re not required to have a certified copy.”

Lancaster County Assessor/Register of Deeds Norm Agena says, “When our office receives a deed request from National Deed Service, it’s basically too late. The homeowner has already been scammed and purchased an overpriced copy of his or her deed. Educating people ahead of time is the key to prevention.”

Most homeowners receive a copy of their deed at closing when they purchase a home and the deed is also recorded in the Register of Deeds’ permanent records. However, if a homeowner does want a copy of a deed, the Register of Deeds Office is a good starting point.

For more information on consumer protection issues go to: http://www.ago.ne.gov. If you’ve been a victim of a consumer-related scam, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-727-6432.

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