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County Warns Taxpayers Of Bogus Solicitation Of Fees For Documents

County Clerk-Recorder Rebecca Martinez cautions residents against paying unnecessary fees following bogus demands like this one.

MADERA COUNTY — Madera County Clerk-Recorder Rebecca Martinez is cautioning local residents who may receive what appears to be a bill for copies of recorded documents – including deeds, deeds of trust and other documents associated with buying a home, refinancing a mortgage or paying off a mortgage – that these documents are recorded and are open to public inspection.

“While my office records these documents, we never solicit the sale of these documents through the mail or otherwise,” explains Martinez.

“If you would like a copy, I encourage you to call or come to my office. We charge a very nominal fee for the copy of these records. A copy of a deed typically costs under ten dollars.”

County residents have contacted Martinez after getting mail for a business that calls themselves “Local Records Office” and solicits a copy of your deed — in one case, for a fee of $89.

The same document can be purchased at the Clerk-Recorder’s office for just $6.

The business with an address in Los Angeles County is not associated with the County of Madera or the County Clerk-Recorder in anyway.

“What these businesses are doing may not be illegal but the taxpayers of Madera County deserve to know that they are not required to pay these astronomical fees just to get copies of their documents,” states Martinez.

“They send these official looking bills, title their business in a manner that creates confusion and then provide a service that is available locally for a fraction of the cost. My office doesn’t send bills. We collect fees upon delivery of the service right in our office.”

If you have received a bill for a recorded document please contact the Madera County Clerk-Recorder’s office directly at (559) 675-7724 or by calling 311 from any phone in Madera County.

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