Knoxville Buyers Beware: Don’t Fall Victim To This Deed Scam

Did you recently close on a home in Tennessee? If so, you need to be aware of a Knoxville deed scam that is aimed at buyers.

The scam goes something like this:

You’ll receive a letter in the mail offering to send you a copy of your Warranty Deed and other property information. In exchange, the company will ask for some money, roughly between $80 and $90. The letter appears to be legitimate and even has some information identifying the property.

If you’re like most buyers, you may fall for it. You may unsure of how you get a copy of your deed and know it’s an important document.  So, you happily write a check in response to the letter.

Unfortunately, this is a scam that is hitting counties across the country, including those in Knoxville and East Tennessee. In this post, we’ll explain how to identify this Knoxville deed scam and how you can obtain a copy of your deed.

How To Identify This Scam

The difficult thing about this deed scam is that everything appears to be legitimate. The letter looks official and even contains some basic information about the property, like the purchase price, closing date, and other identifying information. This is why many buyers fall for this scam.

If you receive a similar letter in the mail, here is how to identify the scam:

  • The letter comes from a company you don’t recognize (i.e. not your title company, lender or realtor).
  • The letter asks for additional money.
  • The letter contains information you weren’t warned about at closing (i.e. it wasn’t mentioned by your realtor, loan officer or title company).

If you receive anything like this after closing or anything that is suspicious, be sure to pick up the phone and double check before sending out any money.

So, When Will You Recieve Your Warranty Deed?

When you close on a Knoxville home, you will always receive your original Warranty Deed from your title company. After closing, your title company will send the Warranty Deed to the Register of Deeds Office.

Once the title company receives the recorded Warranty Deed back, they will send it out to you. This typically takes about 4 to 6 weeks and is done free of charge as part of your closing costs.

If for some reason you don’t receive a copy of your Warranty Deed, do not to hesitate to contact your title company.

Here’s What To Do If You Need A Copy Of Your Deed

Keep in mind, if for some reason your original Warranty Deed gets misplaced or lost in the mail, it’s not the end of the world. Once the deed is of record in the Register’s Office, you’re fine with just a copy. If you want a more official copy, you can just request a certified copy from the Register of Deeds Office.

Here’s how to request a certified copy of your Warranty Deed:

  1. Contact the Register of Deeds where the property is located (all phone numbers can be located on Google).
  2. Specify that you want a certified copy of your Warranty Deed. You’ll need to give some identifying information about the property (name, property address, parcel number).
  3. Request that a copy of that certified Warranty Deed be sent to you. Oftentimes, you’ll need to send in a check before they send a copy to you. Typically, it’s only a few dollars depending on how long the deed is.

If you don’t want to go through the effort of getting a certified copy of your Warranty Deed, you can contact your title company. Title companies keep a copy of the recorded deed in their files and can easily email or mail you a copy.

Bottom Line: Be Hesitant of Anything Odd You Receive

Closing can be a hectic time, so it can be hard to remember how exactly you’ll receive your deed after closing. This is why many buyers fall victim to this scam.

So, just be sure that you’re vigilant about double-checking any strange mail you receive after closing. Again, if you receive a letter asking for money after closing from an odd source, be sure to double check with your realtor, lender or title company.

Are you in the process of buying or selling a home in the Knoxville area? Title Group would love to assist you in any way possible. You can reach us at 865-392-5801 or via email at [email protected].

Title Group of Tennessee is a full-service Knoxville title company. We specialize in Knox, Sevier, Loudon, Blount, Jefferson, and surrounding counties. Title Group of Tennessee is ALTA Best Practices Certified since September 30, 2015.