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December 25, 2013

Grant deed solicitation letters confusing residents

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Superior Court Clerk’s Association of Georgia Inc. wants to inform citizens that certain private companies are sending letters to home and property owners offering a retrieval service providing a copy of their “grant deed.”

All residents should be aware that while this service may be legitimate, there is no need to use such a service when anyone can get a copy of a deed for a nominal fee at the Baldwin County Courthouse.

The clerk’s association urges residents to contact their local Clerk of Superior Court’s office before paying a private company a premium for this service.

The term “grant deed” is not commonly used in Georgia, but usually refers to the deed that transfers titles to real property or a real property interest from one party (grantor) to another (grantee). The transfer is finalized when the deed is recorded in the office of the Clerk of Superior Court in the county in which the property lies.

Several Baldwin County residents have received a letter from Property Transfer Services located in Sioux Falls, S.D. recommending that all homeowners obtain a current grant deed copy. Georgia citizens nearing or enjoying their retirement age have received many of these letters.

The soliciting company says it will deliver the deed to the landowner for a fee up to $63. This particular private company claims the county clerk’s office charges a grant deed copy fee between $2 and $4 per page.

The price is less in the local clerk’s office.

“In Georgia, all recorded deeds are public record. Anyone can acquire a copy of property deed for a fraction of this cost by visiting the Real Estate Division in the Office of the Clerk of Superior Court in the county where the land lies and request a copy,” according to the state clerks website. “Retrieval and a copy of a deed is 50 cents per page with most deeds consisting of just a few pages.”

Request a copy of a deed locally by calling Rosemary F. Phillips, clerk of Superior Court in Baldwin County, in Suite 209 of the courthouse at 478-445-6324.

 

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