Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen A. Yarbrough is warning property owners about solicitations from “deed providers” – companies that resell property documents that can be obtained from the Recorder’s Office directly for much cheaper.
These companies are not affiliated with the Cook County Recorder, or any government agency.
Deed provider solicitations are often designed to look like invoices and use small print legal disclaimers to obscure their true motives. They sometimes claim that having a certified copy of a property deed is the only way to prove ownership. While it is not required that a homeowner possesses a certified copy of their deed so long as it is recorded with a County Recorder, Yarbrough does recommend that homeowners keep their own copies, and in fact, it is likely that you already have a copy that was provided to you at closing.
Copies of your deed can be obtained from the Cook County Recorder:
- Online at CookRecorder.com (non-certified, $2.50 per document, plus credit card processing fee)
- In person at any of the Recorder’s 6 locations ($10.00 for the first 2 pages, non-certified; $20.00 for the first 2 pages, certified. Each additional page, $2. At this time, certified copies and records dated prior to 1985 are only available at our Downtown Chicago location)
- By mail or UPS/FedEx ($10.00 for the first 2 pages, non-certified, $20.00 for the first 2 pages certified. Each additional page, $2)
Deed providers often charge up to $100 per deed, and may also include other public information about your home that can easily be obtained for free online.
Deed providers rely on confusion and scare tactics to make money, and often target senior citizens. By spreading the word about these operations, Recorder Yarbrough is hopeful that we can prevent more residents from falling victim to these schemes.
Anyone with concerns about deed providers or suspicious documents filed against their property is urged to call the CCRD Property Fraud Hotline at (312) 603-4000.