Beware of grant deed scam letters

LOS ANGELES A few weeks ago I warned you about a grant deed scam going around. In fact, you might have received one of the scam letters -- they look official.

One of letters is from a company called Title Compliance Office. In it you are compelled to get a certified copy of your grant deed. Title Compliance says they will take care of it for you, at a cost of $157, but you have to act fast.

Cecelia Lawshe of Tujunga got one of the letters.

"I wasn't sure if it was real or if it was a scam," said Lawshe.

It is a scam, in fact, Lawshe already has a grant deed and she paid only $7 for it.

Because of this exclusive Eyewitness News story and the complaints of his constituents, California Assemblyman Ted Lieu decided to stop this scam as soon as possible.

He introduced a new bill Friday making it unlawful to send out these deceptive and misleading letters.

"I've introduced Assembly Bill 1373, which bans the solicitation of these letters," said Lieu.

And even if the company continues to send out the letters, Lieu's bill requires certain disclosures be in the letters.

"The bill also mandates that on each of these letters it has to say that it is not a government approved or authorized document. And most importantly, it has to tell them how much you can get this grant deed for. In Los Angeles County it would be about $12," said Lieu.

And you may not have to spend even that. Just like Lawshe most homeowners should already have a grant deed given to them at close of escrow.

If you get one of these letters -- toss it.

"We saw that story and you did a great job," said Lieu. "Thank you again for pointing out to all of the consumers that there are various scams out there and they can avoid these."

And we want to thank Assemblyman Lieu for also trying to stop this scam with his bill to the legislature. Lieu got a similar bill passed a few months ago to stop those annoying property tax reassessment letters that I also warned you about in one of my consumer reports.

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