This is one question that we hear frequently from our former clients, and the short answer is — no.
Once closing is complete, the title company is responsible for ensuring that the deed becomes public record by sending it to the county clerk for recording. Once the deed is recorded, the county clerk’s office generally mails the deed to the Purchaser’s attorney. Receipt of the original, recorded deed prompts our office to check the online records for further verification. We then send a copy of the deed to the client for free, as part of their final closing package.
New condo and house owners may receive official-looking letters advising them to pay for their original deeds. The letters offer to have the recorded deeds printed and sent to the new homeowners for a fee. These letters can look eerily like official government correspondence, but – as our savvy blog readers will know – they are not.
The important thing for NY condo and house owners to remember is that, even if they lose their copy of the deed, the deed is a public record. For New York City residents at least, recorded documents can be accessed any time for free through the Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS).
If you have further questions about how to access your deed, or about unusual correspondence received after closing, feel free to reach out to us.