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Consumer Alert

State Record Retrieval Board? Itís Not a State Agency!

If you receive a letter in the mail from the “State Record Retrieval Board” stating that “you need” a copy of your current property deed and “property profile,” and the company charges you an $87 processing fee, think twice before spending your money.

The “State Record Retrieval Board” is a private, for-profit company and is not a state agency.  According to Iowa consumers who have provided letters to the Consumer Protection Division, the return address is a Des Moines “drop box,” so your money is getting forwarded to another location.

Your local county recorder, which is the official source for a certified deed, can provide the same certified document for $5 (or even less for a document that’s not certified).  And many counties provide the same “property profile” information, or a county assessor’s listing of a property, free of charge, on county websites.  The same information is also available at your county assessor’s office.

Letters consumers have provided to the Consumer Protection Division also indicate that “State Record Retrieval Board” charges an additional $35 if you don’t meet the company’s “deadline.”  So that brings the total to $122!  Remember, your county recorder sets no deadlines, and the certified document fee for a deed is always $5.