Friday, March 30, 2012

Minnesota Homebuyers Targeted with Grant Deed Scam

Does a Minnesota Homeowner need copy of Grant Deed?


I received an email late in the evening earlier this week from one of my clients regarding a letter they had received in the mail. Sherry and her fiancĂ© had bought a home this past fall and received this letter strongly urging them to purchase a grant deed for their files. My clients are very educated but the wording was strange and so they began to question their instincts…Did they need this “grant deed and property file” as the Record and Retrieval Company of Champlin was suggesting?

The short answer is no.

My clients were right to contact me before parting with $87 of their hard-earned money for what is just above a scam in my book. My first instinct screamed “SCAM” as real estate professionals rarely use the term “grant deed” in Minnesota (but it does make it sound official doesn’t it?) At a closing, my clients receive all of the documentation they required regarding the purchase of their new home from their closing agent. She creates a file with all of the signed paperwork and places it is a storage folder with the business cards of their closer, loan officer and REALTOR® attached. The closer then files the deed at the county. Now, should my clients ever require a copy of the deed to their home, they can visit the county offices and purchase a copy directly for a very nominal fee (i.e. significantly less than $87!)

This “scam” of selling inexpensive documentation for a high fee started making the rounds in Minnesota early this year according to the Minnesota Better Business Bureau. The MN BBB refer to this offer as “shady” rather than an out-an-out scam. Shady or scam, it is not a good deal and not something a homeowner needs to keep on file. My suggestion, if you receive a letter from the Record and Retrieval Company of Champlin, file it directly in the recycling bin!


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