KSL INVESTIGATES

Gephardt: Salt Lake County Recorder Warns Homeowners About Unnecessary Service

Feb 18, 2020, 6:35 PM | Updated: 6:51 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Property owners are showing up at the Salt Lake County Recorder’s Office by the dozens to pay off a $95 bill. But it’s not a bill — it’s a direct advertising mailer that resembles a government notice.

It includes official-sounding words like “Recorded Deed Notice,” complete with a barcode; “Property Assessment Profile,” a due date and publicly available information for specific properties: parcel number, square footage and year built.

“As your county recorder, I would never mail you a notice like this,” said Salt Lake County Recorder Rashelle Hobbs.

Salt Lake County Recorder Rashelle Hobbs said she can see why people would think the notice is from her office, although it is not.

Hobbs said her normally quiet office has been flooded in the past week with people assuming the notices came from her. The notices actually come from a California company that wants $95 for property records that you can get yourself for a few bucks.

“They are selling a service. It is misleading because it looks official and it appears that it is coming from a government agency,” Hobbs said. “It is not coming from my office.”

The notice includes a company name, property site, and its address. Google Maps, through its Street View tool, shows the address belongs to a Fresno, California, storefront that rents postal boxes. The letter also listed a phone number that we called.

A representative pointed out that there is a disclaimer on the notice that states, “This offer is not being made by an agency of the government.” When we asked how many people have responded to the letter, the representative hung up.

As for Hobbs, she said, based on the calls and walk-ins to her office, there are plenty of people in the county who think they need to pay.

“It’s not a good idea to pay them $95 for when you can get it from me for $5 to $10,” she said.

If you have a problem you can’t solve, contact Matt Gephardt. You can call 385-707-6153, email matt@ksl.com, or submit a tip online

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Gephardt: Salt Lake County Recorder Warns Homeowners About Unnecessary Service