In a media release on Thursday, the Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller’s office had this warning for residents:
Clerk Sharon Bock is advising Palm Beach County residents to be wary of official-looking notices they receive in the mail, telling them they need to purchase a copy of the deed for their property.
These notices, sent by “Local Records Office,” tell recipients that they can receive a copy of their property deed and a “complete property profile” by sending $89 to an address in Tallahassee. The notices also include a coupon that people can detach and mail back with their checks, noting the $89 “service fee.”
Deeds and other official records are easily obtained online or at the courthouse from the Clerk’s office. Hard copies cost $1 a page, and certified documents cost an additional $2. Uncertified copies may be downloaded and printed for free by using the Official Records search on the Clerk’s website, www.mypalmbeachclerk.com.
“Solicitations like this may be legal, but they are misleading,” Clerk Bock said. “Every few years, we hear from residents who have received these notices and want to know what they should do. We want to remind people that this information is readily available online and at the courthouse – there is no need to pay that kind of money to get public records.”
The records available at the Clerk’s office include deeds, mortgages, liens, court judgments and marriage licenses.
As the County Recorder and custodian of legal records, the Clerk maintains and ensures the integrity of the Official Record Books of Palm Beach County dating back to 1909. For more information on receiving copies of public records, contact the Records Services Center at 561-355-2976.
The Florida Constitution established the independent office of the Clerk & Comptroller as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Sharon Bock is directly elected by and accountable to Palm Beach County residents. In addition to the roles of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk & Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Palm Beach County.