A client recently shared with me an unsolicited offer he had received in the mail. The company offered to obtain (for a sizeable fee) a certified copy of the client’s deed of ownership to his property from the local county clerk. The offer stated that it was a good idea to have a copy of this valuable document, which is the single best indication that you own your own home. I agree with that statement, which is why all lawyersrecommend recording deeds in the county clerk’s office in the first place. The clerk records the deed by referencing it in an index of deed records (so it can be found by anyone, simply by looking up the seller/buyer’s name) and scanning the deed into the clerk’s computer files. The image of the deed is available for public inspection forever.
I read with interest a September 26, 2008, article in The Buffalo News, about an 88 year old area widow who had been bilked out of close to $80,000.00 for home improvements that were never done and were done in a shoddy fashion. My first thought was how overwhelming sad it was that in a “City of Good Neighbors” that such a thing would even occur. Not only had it occurred, but the poor woman had paid the gentleman over 71 payments that totaled the $80,000.00. Eventually, the culprit was arraigned in the Town of Cheektowaga Court, and if convicted he could face up to 15 years in prison.