WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WENY) – Schuyler County officials are warning homeowners to be aware of a property deed scam that may be taking place in Schuyler County.
According to County Attorney Steven Getman, there is a company reportedly soliciting homeowners in the area who recently have completed real estate transactions.
They company is reportedly asking homeowners to pay $89 for records which contain public information about their property.
However, according to Schuyler County Clerk Theresa Philbin, deeds for every parcel of land in Schuyler County are already recorded and kept on permanent record at the Schuyler County Clerk's Office.
“After a real estate closing the original deed is returned to the property owner or their attorney at no additional charge and if you ever need another copy, you can request one from the county clerk for as little 65 cents per page and often less than five dollars,” Philbin explained.
All public records can be searched in the county clerk's office through its indexes Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Philbin and Getman also warned that the assessment profile the company is trying to sell includes information that the homeowner does not need, and that could be obtained for free from the County’s Real Property Tax Division or other municipalities.
Currently there is no law against companies selling you your own information, or a limit on what they can charge.
Getman says the best way to protect yourself is to stay vigilant and informed.
"We want the residents of Schuyler County to be aware that the entities marketing such requests are not related to the County Clerk's Office or any other department inside Schuyler County government," Getman said.
If you receive anything in the mail about your property records that seems questionable, Philbin and Getman said that you can contact the county clerk or, in the event of possible criminal activity, local law enforcement.
The Schuyler County Clerk is responsible for all books, files and other necessary equipment for the filing, recording and depositing of documents, maps, papers in actions and special proceedings of both civil and criminal nature, judgment and lien dockets and books for the indexing of the same as directed or authorized by law.
The Schuyler County Attorney is the legal adviser for county government and its various officials. The County Attorney prosecutes and defends civil actions on behalf of the county and county employees acting pursuant to their official duties.