(DES MOINES, Iowa) An Illinois business owner has agreed to cease marketing deeds and other government records to Iowans, as part of an agreement reached Thursday with Attorney General Tom Miller.
Barry Isaacson, the principal owner of National Record Service, Inc. and National Deed Service, Inc., of Northbrook, Illinois, has signed an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. The agreement takes effect immediately.
Isaacson, soliciting Iowans through mailings that appear designed to suggest an official or governmental function or connection, charges $59.50 for a certified copy of a property deed. Under Iowa law Isaacson must retrieve the documents from the same source as any other citizen or property owner, which is the appropriate county recorder’s office. County recorders provide certified copies for $5, and uncertified copies for less. Many counties provide uncertified copies free of charge through official websites.
“This is another case where Iowans forwarded these official-looking sales pitches to our Consumer Protection Division, and we felt that the misleading letters violate our state’s consumer fraud laws,” Miller said. “These letters may confuse homeowners, and some Iowans may feel compelled to pay exorbitant prices for something they can get for a lot less money through their county recorder. And it’s a document that they might not need to begin with.”
Last month, Miller signed a similar agreement with a California-based sound-alike government document company called “State Record Retrieval Board.” In that agreement, the company agreed to stop “deed retrieval services” to Iowans.
Consumers who feel they have been misled by any company and seek a refund should do so. If a company refuses the request, they should file a complaint by contacting the Consumer Protection Division, Hoover Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319. Call 515-281-5926, or 888-777-4590 toll free. Website: www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.gov.
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