I received a letter last month from the Housing & Deed Retrieval Service, LLC in Stevenson, MD stating the company urges me as the property owner to obtain a copy of the recorded deed. They are requesting a $96.00 processing fee to obtain one for me. In your opinion, should I get one, and is this fee fair? What would it cost me to get it directly from Broward County?
R.D., Pembroke Pines, FL
Our office has received numerous inquiries from concerned homeowners regarding this and similar letters from other companies. These mailings are solicitations from private companies selling copies of certified deeds at a rate much higher than one needs to pay. While this practice is misleading, it is legal.
A certified copy of a document has the legal validity of the original document. Your deed is a document or written legal instrument which, when executed and delivered, conveys an interest in or legal title to a property. If you have lost or misplaced your original deed you can obtain a certified copy from the Broward County Records, Taxes and Treasury Division, in person, or by mail. Deeds recorded prior to 1978 must be ordered in person or by written request. The county charges a nominal fee for reproduction ($1.00 a page/$2.00 certified). If you have questions for the County Records Division, they can be reached at 954.831.4000. (Note: the County Records Division is NOT affiliated with the Property Appraiser’s Office.)
Non-certified copies of deeds and many other important documents are available for free online at Broward County Records, Taxes and Treasury Division’s website (www.broward.org/records), which is also linked from our office’s website. Reviewing and obtaining a non-certified copy of your deed is simple: Go to www.bcpa.net and go to “Property Search” page, click on the “Owner Name” button, and search by your last name, followed by a comma, and then your first name. After hitting the SEARCH button, you must select your property from a list. To select your property, click on the “Parcel Number” in the same row as your address. All the information on your property will be displayed. More than half way down this page, there will be a section labeled “Sales History.” Click on the top “Book/Page or CIN” (colored blue) to view the most current version of the deed.
If you need more information about viewing deeds, please visit our website at www.bcpa.net and “click” on FAQ on the homepage and review the Deeds – Where can I find a copy of my deed? You can also contact our office directly at 954.357.6830.
Lori Parrish, CFA
If you have a question for Lori, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to her at the Broward County Property Appraiser’s Office, 115 South Andrews Avenue, Room 111, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. (4/14)