The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jun. 4, 2020

Recorder: New law addresses deed scams

Van Wert independent/submitted information

Van Wert County Recorder Kim Hughes announced that legislation to help protect Ohio’s senior citizens and other unsuspecting populations against deceptive marketing practices has unanimously passed both the Ohio House and Senate chambers.

Amended House Bill 52, sponsored by State Representative Jeff Rezabek, makes several changes to regulate the solicitation of real property deeds.

Amended HB 52 comes in response to deed solicitation scams plaguing many Ohioans, including elderly and first-time homeowners. Companies outside the state send official looking notifications to homeowners informing them that they need a copy of their property deed for a charge of $80 to $90. However, homeowners can already obtain a copy of their property deeds from the appropriate county recorder’s office for a minimal fee.

“I want to thank Representative Rezabek for his leadership on this issue and his ability to guide such a common sense bill through the legislative process in a timely manner,” Hughes said.

The provisions of the bill require that specific disclosures be made to consumers when a fee is requested for real property deeds, including the cost to obtain the deed from the county recorder, the contact information for the appropriate county recorder’s office, and the name and address of the person soliciting the fee.

The bill also prohibits charging a fee of more than four times the cost to obtain a copy of a deed from the county recorder.

A violation of these requirements falls under the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and may result in a fine.

The bill was sent to Governor John Kasich for his signature and was signed into law on February 8. It will become effective 90 days after the date of signing.

For more information on the new law, call the Van Wert County Recorder’s Office at 419.238.2558 or email recorder@vanwertcounty.org.

POSTED: 02/28/18 at 9:04 am. FILED UNDER: News