Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law, Public Act 79 of 2016 that will prevent private companies from charging exorbitant fees for copies of deeds that are available from the county Register of Deeds office for only $1.00 per page.
For years citizens have been solicited by private companies charging as much as $83 for your own deed. These companies send letters that are designed to look like an official government mailing to lure the property owners into their scheme. We are doing our best to get the word out to Leelanau County residents that you don’t need to pay those high fees to get a copy of the deed to your own property.
The new legislation spells out exactly what information is allowed in the solicitations and the fees that they can charge. Solicitors will be required to furnish the Register of Deeds office a copy of the solicitation not less than 15 days before distributing the solicitations and include information necessary to contact the office.
Under the terms of the legislation, the attorney general can bring action against anyone who knowingly violates the terms of the act. The court can order the person to refund all of the money paid by the victims of the scam with respect to the solicitation. In addition, the company may be ordered to pay a fine of $100 per solicitation for the first violation of the act followed by $200 per solicitation for a subsequent violation. Fines collected under this section shall be distributed to public libraries.
Anyone who receives one of these solicitations in the mail to please contact the Leelanau County Register of Deeds office at 231-256-9682.