Recently, I have handled two different kinds of transactions that involve public filings, and both are frequently exploited by companies just trying to scam a few dollars off of unsuspecting individuals. Let me share these two situations for your benefit.
First, recently both of my kids had the opportunity to acquire used vehicles. As part of the transaction, they were required to register these vehicles with the county. This is a public filing, to which many parties, including the nefarious buck-makers, have access. Shortly after each car was filed, we received in the mail letters or postcards, addressed to my kids, warning them that they MUST contact the number on the card because they do not have warranty coverage on the vehicle. A plain reading of these mailings would easily scare someone into believing that they HAD TO contact this company or else they were in danger of not having a warranty on their cars.The decision to purchase any kind of extended warranty can be made with good information and accurate assessment as part of the purchase process, or by pursuing your own warrant through more legitimate companies. Don’t fall for these scamming scare tactics!
The other circumstance involves deeds to real estate. These property transactions are also filed with the county clerk’s offices, to establish title to real property. Recently, a client, who obtained a deed and filed it with the clerk, was sent a “Recorded Deed Notice” from a company in California, asking my client to “Please Respond” by a certain date. The notice stated that the company recommends that “all homeowners obtain a copy of their property assessment profile” to provide evidence of the property being transferred.
That’s what the deed does, and why you file it at the county. The document does have disclaimers indicating that it is not a governmental agency nor is this product or service approved or endorsed by any governmental agency, and more importantly, any citizen can research county records, or hire a local attorney to do it for you, to establish the legal status and title to real property. Yet these notices scared one client and almost got money from another client, due to their realistic and scary appearance and wording.
Don’t let these fly-by-night out-of-state companies fool you regarding auto or property transactions. Beware the attempt to squeeze money out of your pocket in the name of protecting your property!
Attorney at Law
John Hall & Associates