Do you have any idea what your county clerk's office actually does?

As part of National County Government Month, the Ocean County Clerk is giving residents some behind-the-scenes access and the chance to view the history of the biggest purchase they'll likely ever make. The "Searching the Deed Room" workshop event allows folks to search records they may have never known they could access.

"As soon as any home or business or structure or piece of land changes hands, those documents are recorded in an office of a county clerk," Ocean County Clerk Scott Colabella said.

Property ownership records are always on hand to be viewed, Colabella said, but not all folks have a schedule that allows them to come by the clerk's office during regular business hours.

Thanks to this workshop, scheduled for April 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. inside the Ocean County Courthouse, a property's paper trail of deeds and mortgages is available on a weekend.

For those interested in the history of relatively newer home — built in the 1980s or later — images of related documents can be found with a computer search, Colabella said. The process is more of a hunt when tracking the transaction history of a much older home.

"We go back to 1850; that's when the county was founded," Colabella said. "Those documents are found in books ... Some of them are handwritten."

At the event, residents will also have the opportunity to sign up for the county's property alert service, which attempts to get ahead of potential fraudulent activity.

Similar to credit card alerts, residents would be notified any time documents pertaining to their property are recorded with the clerk's office.

Colabella said residents are encouraged to call 732-929-2018 to inform the county if they'd like to attend the free workshop.

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