Created March 4, 1837 Welcome to Stephenson County, Illinois! Welcome to Stephenson County, Illinois!
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Real Estate Records

The mission of the Stephenson County Recorder's Office is to keep the real estate records of Stephenson County in a current and accurate state, to run an efficient office and give our customers the best and most courteous service possible.

The recorder's office staff employees are not attorneys; therefore, this office cannot give legal advice. For legal advice regarding real estate and recording issues, we strongly recommend you contact an attorney.

For property surveys or homebuilding blueprints, contact the previous land surveyor and/or the original homebuilder. The Zoning Department may have information, also. They can be reached at 815-599-0344. A previous owner is also another possible source for this information.


FAQs


Q.
How do I obtain a copy of my deed?
A.
You can request a copy from our office in person or by mail. However, if you're mailing, please enclose a check for the correct amount and a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Q.
Where do I obtain a form for recording purposes?
A.
We have many (but not all) blank forms in our office. Also, most office supply and business stationery stores sell blank forms.
Q.
When I present my document to be recorded what happens to it?
A.
When presented for recording, your document is checked to verify that it complies with state statute and form requirements. If the document conforms to state statutes and is accompanied by the proper recording fee, it will be recorded and placed on record. Our office optically scans your document and keys the pertinent information to create an index so your document can be referred to at any time in the future. Your document will be returned to you at the return address you provide. Documents are usually returned within 30 days.
Q.
What are the fees for recording?
A.
Refer to the fees schedule or call 815-235-8289 for help in determining the proper charge.
Q.
Can you tell me the selling price of a piece of property?
A.
Most deeds of record will have revenue stamps reflecting the sale price.
Q.
How can I find out about a house for sale, a house in foreclosure or a tax sale property?
A.
You can come to the Recorder's Office, and we will assist you in your search. You need to know the owner's name or the legal description of the property, or be able to identify the parcel on a tax map located in the County Assessor's Office. For further information on property being sold for back taxes, contact the county treasurer at 815-235-8264.
Q.
How do I change the ownership of a piece of property?
A.
To change ownership a new deed is required. The Recorder's Office suggests the use of an attorney. Deed forms are available at no charge in the Stephenson County Recorder's office or call 815-235-8289.
Q.
How do I add or remove a name on my property?
A.
Your question may be answered by a title company and/or by consulting an attorney. A new deed will be required. See the above question and answer.
Q.
How do I do a title search?
A.
Property ownership can be traced in the Recorder's Office. You can come into our office and we can assist you in gathering information. All records in our office are located by searching our grantor (seller)/grantee (buyer) name index. However, we recommend you consider using a title company to perform a title search for you to assure nothing is missed and your title is insured.
Q.
Can you tell me who is the owner of a property by searching with a parcel number?
A.
Stephenson County has created a website to provide this infomration. You can visit our Website or by calling the County Assessment Office at 815-235-8260.
Q.
How do I know what liens are on a property?
A.
Once the owner of a parcel has been determined, you can check the records in this office for liens.
Q.
How long is a lien in effect?
A.
This is a legal question and we advise you to consult an attorney, because it can vary with different documents.
Q.
How do I remove an erroneous lien from my property?
A.
Your question may be answered by contacting an attorney. We are not attorneys and are unable to give legal advice.
Q.
How do I get the dimensions for my property?
A.
You can get this information from the subdivision plat, which you can obtain from our office in person or by mail. For unsubdivided land, you can use the tax maps located in our office or the County Assessor's Office. You may also have your property surveyed by a land surveyor.
Q.
Do any municipalities in Stephenson County charge a separate municipality transfer tax?
A.
At this time only the City of Freeport in Stephenson County charges a separate transfer tax.
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