Carbon County residents desiring a copy of the deed to their property, or any other record of title, can obtain the document from the office of Recorder of Deeds Emmett McCall at a nominal fee.
McCall issued a notice to residents today, saying the process of receiving the document is much easier and cheaper than what residents may be advised of through a recent announcement in the U.S. mail.
In that mailing, an agency listing a Harrisburg address does advise county residents that it is not affiliated with the county in which a deed was filed in, nor affiliated with any government agencies, but, McCall said, it asks a fee of $89 for someone to obtain their documents.
"Several county residents have called my office to inquire about what they received in the mail," McCall explained. "We were also made aware of the mailed document. While we cannot and will not comment on what appears to be a private enterprise, what we can do is our best to inform the public of services available to them from the Recorder's office," he said.
The Recorder's office is responsible for the preservation of records relating to real property in the county. By law, the recorder is the keeper of permanent records of all property, for which he is required to record and affix his seal on all deeds executed, mortgages, subdivision plans and other records of property ownership.
The office also is the guardian of records of agreements of sale, plot developments, property options, leases, rights of way, easement agreements and charters of nonprofit organizations.
McCall said he wants residents to know that the documents filed in the Recorder's office are public records that are available to anyone upon request at a nominal fee.
"Unlike someone who charges $89 for a deed, which may be a perfectly legal initiative, the Recorder's office can provide the very same document for a fee of approximately $2, or $3.50 (depending on the number of pages) if the person making the request wants the document certified," McCall said.
The recorder said he understands that someone might want to have in their possession a copy of their deed, mortgage or other document of record.
"They may not have a full understanding of the process because the filing is something an attorney does. But this office is the caretaker of all of the official documents of record here, and we will gladly provide for residents what they ask for without them having to pay someone $89," McCall said.
The Recorder's office is located on the first floor of the Carbon County Courthouse Annex in Jim Thorpe. It can be reached by telephone at (570) 325-2651.