A Guide to Good Deeds
I realize you have many questions concerning your property and what you can do to protect your ownership.
For this reason, I have compiled this brochure to help you better understand the operation of the Recorder of Deeds Office and the many ways it serves you and how you can use it.
The questions included here are the ones we have been asked most frequently by people just like you.
This booklet is being issued as a public service to the people of Tioga County.
Please be advised: We may not give legal advice. We can only comment on the rules concerning our office and the recording of various papers. Each person’s legal situation could differ according to your own circumstances. Therefore, it is always good to consult an attorney for specific advice.
It is my pleasure to be of service to you.
Jane E. Wetherbee
Recorder of Deeds
WHAT ARE THE HOURS OF THE RECORDER OF DEEDS OFFICE?
The office is open to the public on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
HOW FAR BACK DO YOUR RECORDS GO?
Tioga County started keeping land records in 1807.
WHAT ARE THE RECORDING FEES?
The average fee for a base document not exceeding four names, four pages and one parcel is $18.50. Each page over four is an additional $2.00; each name over four is an additional .50 cents, each parcel other than the first one is an additional .50 cents. Please check with our office for further recording fees. These fees are set by state law.
HOW MANY CHECKS DO I NEED WHEN RECORDING?
Usually one except for deeds. When deeds are being recorded, three checks are needed. One each for; the recording fee, the State Transfer Tax and the Local Transfer Tax. These items are deposited in separate accounts. All checks are payable to the Tioga County Recorder of Deeds.
MAY I RECORD BY MAIL?
YES. You should make sure the documents meet all legal requirements and that you have proper checks enclosed made payable in the correct amounts.
CAN I GET INFORMATION OVER THE PHONE?
General Information can be obtained by phone but for more detailed information you should come into the office or retain a Title Searcher or Attorney. Office employees are not permitted to do searches.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET PAPERS BACK AFTER RECORDING?
We have a three day return. Day one papers recorded, day two papers indexed and day three papers are returned to the person who records them, in most cases an attorney or title company. If you have not received your papers after several days, contact the person of firm who recorded them for you. We must have a self addressed stamped envelope If they are to be returned by mail.
HOW ARE WE PREPARED IF A MAJOR DISASTER OCCURRED TO THE COURTHOUSE?
All recorded documents are microfilmed and kept in underground storage for safe keeping. This way all records could be duplicated in the event of a disaster destroying our records. This is protection for you.
CAN ANYONE LOOK AT MY DEED AND MORTGAGE?
Yes. All papers recorded in the Recorders Office are public information with the exception of Military Discharge papers which are impounded. This means anyone can come in and look at any document of yours that are recorded in the Recorders Office.
CAN I PREPARE MY OWN DEED?
Yes. But it usually is a good idea to have someone with a certain expertise in the field such as an Attorney or Title Company prepare it for you to make sure it is correct. Employees of the Recorder of Deeds may not do this for you.
HOW DO I GET A COPY OF MY DEED OR MORTGAGE?
You can obtain a copy by coming directly to the Recorder of Deeds Office or send a request by mail. If you chose by mail I advise you to call our office to see what the charge will be for a particular copy. We must have money in hand before making and sending the copy. We also request a self addressed stamped envelope.
HOW DO I REPLACE A LOST DEED?
By obtaining a copy as described above. We must have your full name, Township or Borough of location of property and approximately when you purchased.
HOW DO I CHANGE, ADD OR DELET A NAME ON A DEED?
This can only be done by recording a new deed showing the change. Many people think they can simply come into the office and change the present deed on record. However, once a document is recorded, it cannot be changed. The new deed can be prepared by your Attorney or Title Company.
IS IT NECESSARY TO DELETE A DECEASED SPOUCES’S NAME?
Generally, no, if the property was held jointly by husband and wife as tenants by entireties. There could be a special instance, because of particular legal situations, the name should be removed. You should consult your Attorney.
IF A WOMAN MARRIES, MUST SHE CHANGE HER NAME ON THE DEED?
It is not generally required, but again because of a particular situation it might be desirable. Consult your Attorney.
IF I SELL A PORTION OF MY LAND, DO I GET A DEED FOR THE REMAINDER?
No. Records in the Courthouse show your original deed and the deed(s) for portions sold. Anyone searching records simply deducts the land you sold from the original deed.
MUST I RECORD MY DEED?
A deed is binding even if it is not recorded, but because of numerous reasons it is to your best interests to record it.
IF I BUILD ON MY LOT, DO I GET A DEED FOR THE HOUSE?
No. A deed is for property not buildings.
IF I FIND A MISTAKE IN MY DEED, HOW DO I CORRECT IT?
A corrective deed would be drawn up and recorded. On that deed it would state what is being corrected. You should contact your Attorney.