Statement as issued Monday by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office:
FORT WAYNE – Under an agreement reached with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, consumers who were misled by deed offers are set to receive restitution.
Barry Isaacson, individually, and Illinois Deed Provider, Inc., doing business as National Record Service, Inc. and National Deed Services, Inc. reached a settlement with Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office after offering homeowners copies of property deeds for a fee.
According to a complaint filed in Allen County, property owners were offered certified copies of deeds for $59.50 and an additional copy for $20.
Property deeds, which are usually one to two pages, are public records and county recorders can provide copies for free or at a small cost, often times $1 per page. In addition, homeowners are not required to have copies even when they go to sell a property.
As part of the agreement, the defendants shall not misrepresent its services offered or the nature of its services and will pay full restitution to 40 consumers.
“Settlements such as this where we are able to return the hard earned money back to consumers are also a great educational tool for the public,” Zoeller said. “It is important for consumers to learn from this and to contact their local government office directly if they have any questions about copies of documents or fees related to homeownership.”
"Consumers have been confused and concerned about these solicitations for years, said Allen County Recorder John McGauley. “In many cases, the money they spent as a result will be coming back to their pocketbooks, where it belonged all along. We are grateful for the Attorney General's work on behalf of consumers and in defense of the public records that belong to our community."
The Attorney General’s Office has ordered restitution and will contact all consumers involved once that payment is received.
If you have any doubts about a mailing offering a government-provided service, contact the entity directly or the Indiana Attorney General’s Office to confirm the solicitation’s legitimacy. If you have received a notice or paid for this service, you can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office by visiting www.IndianaConsumer.com or requesting a complaint form be mailed to you by calling 1.800.382.5516.
Zoeller thanked Deputy Attorney General Jeremy Comeau for his hard work on the case and dedication to the Consumer Protection Division.