Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

September 11, 2007

Copies of Deeds for Homeowners

by @ 11:50 am. Filed under Current Events

Several months ago we wrote about National Deed Service, Inc., a company with a Washington DC address that had set the Massachusetts registry of deeds world abuzz by sending letters to homeowners offering to obtain certified copies of their deeds for them at the remarkable price of $69.50. I say remarkable because the same homeowner could get the same thing directly from us by mail for just $5 and for free if he wanted to come to the registry in person. It seems that National Deed must work in cycles because we haven’t heard much for months and suddenly we received three phone calls from homeowners today, all prompted by the National Deed solicitation letter. When this first arose, I determined that National Deed was doing nothing illegal, perhaps just a bit misleading. Still, the National Deed solicitation specifically states in all caps “Many government records are available free or at a nominal cost from government agencies.” We tried to work out the economics of this business. Let’s say it costs 40 cents per letter (not counting labor) when you factor in bulk postage and merge print letters. If you send out 1000, that would cost you $400. If ten come back with checks for $69.50, that would yield $695.00 in gross revenue. But you would spend about $6 per deed to obtain certified copies from the registry. When added to the $400 for the initial mailing, this would make your total cost $460. This would leave you with a net profit of $235. It doesn’t sound like a lot of money for a lot of effort.

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