Register of Deeds
Property Fraud Alert
For hundreds of years, the Washington County Register of Deed's Office has been a place where citizens can file and research land transactions. Our office provides clarity, transparency, and a foundation for democracy and commerce. Property Fraud Alert is a way to keep you up to date regarding information that may be filed under your name and to deter fraud. Sign up is free and easy!
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there are ample opportunities for scam artists to commit property and mortgage fraud. Perpetrators target victims from across a demographic range, with perpetrators identifying common characteristics such as ethnicity, nationality, age and socioeconomic variables, to include occupation, education and income. Unfortunately, these scammers can attempt to file documents in the Register of Deed's Office that make it appear as if they own or even placed a lien on your property.
Our hope is that it provides you with timely information and peace of mind. Then tell your family and friends to sign up for the Washington County Property Fraud Alert system too!
About Our Office
The register is elected to a four-year term and operates under a fee system to pay salaries and other expenses while remitting excess fees quarterly to the county general fund, and collecting transfer and mortgage taxes for the state. The register's primary function is to make and preserve a record of instruments required or allowed by law to be filed or recorded, including but not limited to deeds, powers of attorney, mortgages, liens, contracts, plats, leases, papers under the Uniform Commercial Code and other types of instruments. The register provides public notice of property ownership liens, contracts and other transactions that affect the public interest. The register's office is in the county seat, and the records and papers must remain in the office at all times.
The register has specific directions on how to index, record and maintain the records. This includes the following functions:
- Require specific information on instruments registered in the office
- Perform the assigned tasks in a diligent manner
- Carefully place the time of receipt of instruments into the notebook
- Record the instruments into the correct book
- Index the instrument properly
- Keep accurate records of the fees, commissions and taxes collected
- Keep accurate office expense records
- Made reports on the fees, commissions, and expenses to the county
- Make reports on the taxes collected to the revenue department