St. Louis County Recorder of Deeds, Janice M. Hammonds is urging property owners to be wary of companies offering to provide certified copies of their property deed for a fee.
Hammonds says property owners in St. Louis County periodically are targeted by mailed solicitations for certified deed orders. Property owners receive an official looking letter, offering to provide a certified deed for a payment of $59.50 or more.
“This is an excessive fee for documents that are easily obtained from our office”, said Hammonds in a news release. “Property owners have numerous options to request deed copies: in person, via mail, electronically or by downloading an order form from our website: http://revenue.stlouisco.com/RecorderOfDeeds/. Requests are processed immediately, and property owners will receive their copy within five working days.”
Most property deeds are just one or two pages long and do not justify such an exorbitant fee, according to Hammonds. She said St. Louis County charges $3 for a copy and $4 for a certified copy of a standard ownership deed. Accepted forms of payment include cash, check or money order. While it is a good idea for property owners to keep a certified copy of their proprty deed with their personal papers, most property owners already have one. The original deed is usually received during the process of purchasing real estate. If an owner has the original deed, which was recorded at the time of purchase, the need for a copy is unlikely.
Hammonds urges residents with questions about obtaining copies of recorded documents to ignore the solicitation and to contact the Recorder of Deeds’ office for information. Visit or write the Recorder of Deeds at 41 S. Central Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105, or contact the office by phone at 314-615-7102 or 314-615-7103. The office is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.