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Business charges $89 for $10 deed

Posted by: Jane Friedmann under Buyer beware, Whistleblower Updated: October 3, 2012 - 9:48 AM
After refinancing his house recently, Mark Meinhardt of Eagan received what looked like a bill from the “Local Records Office” with the urgent message: “Important property information. Respond promptly.” It also had a warning about tampering with the mail.
But it wasn’t a government document. For $89, LRO will send a copy of the deed as well as a “property profile” with the owner’s name and address and some neighborhood statistics.
The Dakota County Property Taxation and Records department charges $10 for a certified copy of a deed.
The company’s return address is a rented mailbox in St. Paul. An LRO employee wouldn’t reveal the business’ actual location, but an Internet search indicates the business operates locally — throughout the country.

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