After closing, many of your clients will receive an “Official Letter” from what purports to be the county Register of Deeds or Clerk of Court. The envelope will be stamped “Official” or “Official Business”. It may even say “Urgent Attention Needed”. Sometimes the courthouse address is listed as the return address. The envelope looks very official, but it is not. The enclosed letter tells your client that they urgently need to get a copy of their deed now that they have purchased the house. The form requests $90 for an “official” copy of the deed. Your client is led to believe that the letter is official government business and that they have to pay the fee because they must have an “official copy” of the deed. This is a scam.
Your client will get the original deed from the closing attorney after the deed is recorded. Any time your client wants a copy of the deed they can either print a copy on the county website most often for free or get a copy from the courthouse for just the cost of the photocopy. Please help stop this despicable scam by advising your clients that their closing attorney will send them the deed. Our closing attorneys will also be notifying the buyers at closing to ignore these letters.
Historical Fact- Gist Street is located off of Gervais Street before the Congaree River. Gist Street was named for Maryland native Mordecai Gist. Gist was a brigadier general of the Continental Army. During the Revolution he fought in the Battle of Camden where he was wounded. He also fought at the Combahee River where Colonel John Laurens was killed. After the war, he settled in Charleston and served as the grand master of the Freemasons in South Carolina. He is buried in St. Michael’s Churchyard in Charleston.