Recorder#039;s fees set to double

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 30, 2003

The cost of recording a document in Ohio will soon double.

Beginning Aug. 1, most fees charged in the Lawrence County Recorder's office will double. Recent legislation in House Bill 95 mandates that recorder's feeds increase by 100 percent. The additional fees charged will be sent to the state with the first $50 million collected designated for the Ohio Housing Trust Fund. Anything in excess of that $50 million collected annually by county recorders across the state will go toward balancing the state's budget.

Basic Recording Fees, which include fees for recording agreements, amendments, assignments, deeds, easements, leases, land contracts, mechanic liens, mergers, mortgages, partial releases, partnerships, power of attorney, releases and refiles will go from $14 for the first two pages, $4 for each additional page and $2 for each volume and page reference to $28 for the first two pages, $8 for each additional page and $4 for each volume and page reference.

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The Ohio Recorder's Association opposed the increase, Lawrence County Recorder Sue Ann Deeds said.

"It was not quite fair for individual counties to collect for the state," she said.

If the Lawrence County Recorder's Office had the desire to later increase fees to increase its own revenue, it may not be possible because of fees already increasing, Deeds said.

Deeds said she is pleased that more money is going to the Ohio Housing Trust Fund, which is designed to help low-income families. This could possibly help many Lawrence County residents, she said.

According to the Ohio Housing Trust Fund's Web site, the organization has helped several areas of Lawrence County. One of these grants include a $160,000 grant to complete emergency home repairs and handicapped accessibility modifications for people age 60 and older with incomes at or below 35 percent of the area median income in 10 counties including Lawrence. The program will assist 36 households consisting of 45 people.

However, some of these recorded documents affected by the increase are 20 pages or more, Deeds said. This increase will be paid by a consumer in closing costs. She said she does not expect this to damage a growing number of real estate transactions in the county.

"You see that on some of these, this is quite an increase," Deeds said. "We didn't think that was fair on consumers."

Notices will be sent to area attorneys, title companies and financial institutions advising them of the fee increase.