Scammers are always looking for an opportunity to separate you from your money.  There’s a new one we refer to as the “Deed Scam.”  And our clients who choose to create revocable living trusts are often targets of this scam.

It works like this.  Once we create a trust, we go about making sure the trust owns what it is supposed to own, a process we call funding the trust.  Part of that process involves our preparation of a deed of the client’s property to the living trust.  Once the client executes the deed, we send it off to the county clerk’s office to be recorded in the land records.

Here’s where the opportunistic scammer goes to work.  He monitors the filings with the county, and sends the client an official looking communication indicating how important it is for the client to have a copy of the deed which has been recorded.  The client is then encouraged to pay $83 to obtain a copy of the recorded deed.

What the client may not know is that once the county clerk records the original deed, the original deed is returned to the filing party.  Since we customarily do that for our clients, the clerk’s office returns the deed to us, and we return it to the client.  So, since the client has the original and can make all the copies desired at little or no charge, there is no reason to pay an exorbitant cost for a copy.

Of course, this same issue arises with any real estate transaction, not just those involving revocable living trusts.  So, if you have recently purchased any real estate, be on the lookout for an offer like this one, and hang on to that money!