Legislation to prevent deed scams signed

St. Joseph County Clerk and Register of Deeds Lindsay Oswald has forwarded a media release detailing legislation signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.
The new legislation will prevent private companies from charging exorbitant fees for copies of deeds that are available from their county Register of Deeds for only $1 per page.
Amy Bissell, president of the Michigan Association of Registers of Deeds, said citizens for years have been solicited by private companies charging as much as $80 for their own deed.
Bissel said the companies would send letters designed to look like an official government mailing to lure the property owners into their scheme.
She said registers of deeds across the state appreciate the legislature taking up the issue as a measure to protect property owners.
Under the terms of the legislation, the attorney general can bring action against anyone who knowingly violates the terms of the act.
The court can order the person to refund all of the money paid by the victims of the scam with respect to the solicitation. In addition, the company may be ordered to pay a fine of $100 for the first violation of the act followed by $200 for a subsequent violation.

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