Many Wisconsin residents have received official-looking mail in recent years offering to provide a copy of their property deed for $89. However, these solicitations do not note that property deeds can be obtained from a county register of deeds at a lower cost. Earlier this year, the State Legislature enacted legislation seeking to address these confusing solicitations. Under this new state law, any documents soliciting fees for public records must state on the top, in at least 24-point type, all of the following:
· That the solicitation is not from any state agency or local unit of government,
· That there is no requirement to action by the solicited individual,
· The fee or the cost to obtain a copy of the record from the state agency or local unit of government that has custody of the record,
· The necessary information to contact and obtain a copy of the record from the state agency or local unit of government that has custody of the record, and
· The name and address of the business or individual soliciting the fee.
The purpose of this law is to help Wisconsin residents identify solicitations and provide residents with the information necessary to obtain the records they need. The Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) urges residents to file a complaint if they receive a property mailer that is missing these new disclosures. For additional information or to file a complaint, Visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at www.datcp.wi.gov, call 800-422-7128, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.