Law will regulate property deed solicitations

Staff Report

Legislation regulating property deed solicitation has unanimously passed both houses of the Ohio General Assembly. Fulton County Recorder Sandra K. Barber said the legislation helps protect Ohio’s seniors and other unsuspecting populations against deceptive marketing practices.

Amended House Bill 52, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Rezabek, comes in response to deed solicitation scams plaguing many Ohioans. Companies outside of Ohio will send official looking notifications to homeowners informing them that they need a copy of their property deed for a charge of $80-90. Typically unbeknownst to the homeowner, they can obtain a copy of their deed from the county recorder’s office for a minimal fee.

“I want to thank Representative Rezabek for his work on this issue and his efforts in guiding such a commonsense bill through the legislative process in a timely manner,” said Barber.

The provisions under Amended House Bill 52 require that specific disclosures be made to consumers when they are solicited a fee for real property deeds, including the cost to obtain the deed from the county recorder, the contact information for the county recorder, and the name and address of the person soliciting the fee. The bill also prohibits charging a fee of more than four times the cost to obtain a copy of a deed from the county recorder. A violation of these requirements fall under the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and may result in a fine.

The bill was sent to Gov. John Kasich for his signature and was signed into law Feb. 8. The effective date is May 11.

For more information, contact the Fulton County Recorder’s office at 419-337-9232.

Staff Report