Register of Deeds
401 East River Street
Anderson, SC 29624
PO Box 8002
Anderson, SC 29622
Ph: (864) 260-4054
Fax: (864) 260-4443
Mon-Fri: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
***Please have all documents in for recording no later than 4:30pm.
***All documents received on August 1st requires the new recording fees, please reference to the new fee list under document recording.
To: All ROD Submitters
From: Kevin Wiles, Senior Mapping Supervisor, Assessor’s Office
Date: June 13, 2019
Re: Name Differences
Greetings, I hope this meme is finding all its recipients doing very well. I am writing this memo today in hopes that we can put our heads together and come up with a solution to what I believe is an issue that could be very easy to resolve.
For many years we have been dealing with the problem of deeds containing name mismatches. When drafting a deed for a client, please look at the seller’s name precisely as it was written on the previous deed. (It might not be a good idea to depend heavily upon our tax record, as we make mistakes too!) If that person goes by something different now, an “AKA or FKA” in the granting clause may be in order. This could even be done on deeds of distribution. You may also alternatively consider an “Exhibit B”, for instance, with all of the ways the grantee has been known as.
Look carefully at the spelling. We often find different middle initials, middle initials left out, alternate spellings, shortened names, completely different names, Jr. or Sr. being added or left out, nicknames, married names vs prior to marriage, and every combination in between. We even find company names with the wrong extension (LLC, Inc) or company names that are altogether wrong, to varying degrees. The fact is, in these cases, we often cannot determine if the person signing the deed even owns an interest in the property.
The solution to this as described above is to simply use the correct name as purchased, use an AKA or FKA, or append an exhibit which outlines all the names the person has used in the past.
If a deed has already been recorded with a name that does not match the name it was deeded into, our office will notify by letter the closing attorney (if it can be easily determined who the closing attorney was by viewing the deed) or the grantee. The letter will state that we (the Assessor’s Office) are unable to transfer the property into the new owner’s name on the tax records because it does not appear that the Grantor owns any interest in the property. In many cases, we can cite the deed references in question on the letter.
Barbara M. Dennis purchased a property in 1998. On her deed, her name is written out “Barbara M. Dennis”. Barbara keeps the property 21 years. When she sells the property, the grantor’s name is written: Suzanne M. Dennis. The deed is recorded. Our office is unable to update the tax records. A letter is sent which reads: We are unable to transfer the property to the new owner because Suzanne M. Dennis does not appear to own any interest in this property. Please see deed book XX Page XX where it was deeded to Barbara M. Dennis.
Jack Brown purchased a property in 2013. On his deed, his name is written out “Jack Brown”. Jack keeps the property 6 years. When he sells the property, the grantor’s name is written: Jack Thomas Brown. The deed is recorded. Our office is unable to update the tax records. A letter is sent which reads: We are unable to transfer the property to the new owner because Jack Thomas Brown does not appear to own any interest in this property. Please see deed book XX Page XX where it was deeded to Jack Brown.
These could have been avoided by using the correct name as they were written on the previous deed, or by using an AKA or FKA in the granting clause, or by attaching a list of alternate names. Since the deeds are already recorded, we feel that a recorded document to back it up wouldn’t be too much to ask.
When a deed has already been recorded, like in the examples above, there are two proposed options to fix the issue: First, a recorded corrective deed, or optionally, a recorded affidavit. We do not feel that simply re-recording the deed is sufficient as grantor has not acknowledged the change. As for the affidavit mentioned, we propose a simple form, signed by the Grantor or someone authorized to sign on their behalf (such as power of attorney or personal representative of an estate), notarized and recorded, which would provide a statement that two or more names are “one and the same person as it applies to deed book XX page XX”. We have spoken to the Register of Deeds regarding this matter. As a courtesy, this affidavit, if you should choose to use it instead of a corrective deed, and if being recorded in response to one of our letters, can be recorded free of charge until June 13, 2020 (One year from the sending of this letter). After that date, the recording fee will go back to the standard rate.
I have included a draft of a simple affidavit form for verifying names as one and the same person. This is just a draft and can be edited and improved through your kind help. Any and all suggestions are welcomed.
In conclusion, please understand, we are not claiming that a property has not transferred to a new owner in real terms, but instead that we cannot update tax records when names do not match. We cannot assume that 2 different names are one and the same person. We are simply looking at black and white paperwork. We do not have the luxury of knowing the individuals involved nor being at the closing table. We ask for your assistance in this matter, as it will greatly improve public records and give your clients peace of mind and less potential for trouble when it comes time for them to sell property.
I look forward to any input you may have.
Senior Mapping Supervisor, Anderson County Assessor’s Office
A person preparing or filing a document for recordation or filing in the official records may not include a social security, driver's license, state identification, passport, checking account, savings account, credit card, or debit card number or PIN code, or passwords in the document unless expressly required by law. An individual has a right to request a register of deeds or clerk of court to remove from an image or copy of an official record placed on a publicly available internet web site used by a register of deeds or clerk of court to display public records, any social security, driver's license, state identification, passport, checking account, savings account, credit card, or debit card number or PIN or passwords contained in an official record. The request must be in writing and delivered by mail, facsimile, or electronic transmission or in person, to the register of deeds or clerk of court. The request must specify the identification page number that contains the social security, driver's license, state identification, passport, checking account, savings account, credit card, debit card number or PIN code, or passwords to be redacted. There is no fee for the redaction pursuant to request.