Home title fraud happens when someone takes your property deed by stealing your identity and passing off your ownership as their own. This fraudster secures several loans as possible and uses your equities as collateral. Normally, the real homeowner is unaware that all of this is happening until certain signs become visible. It’s usual for these scam artists (probably the only criminals to be called such) to receive a lucrative payoff from their offense long before being discovered.
You might think that getting your home back after this event is easy. The truth is, nothing in real estate law is simple. Sometimes, the legal fees alone are higher than what the crime has cost you, like damage to property or credit issues. For effective title theft protection, you need to be aware of what you’re up against. In this scenario, you have to understand how this fraud occurs so you can take the necessary precautions to defend yourself.
How Does Title Theft Work?
The most common scenario is when the relatives of a deceased previous owner can’t monitor the inherited properties. Fraudsters then assume the identity of the person who passed away and do whatever they can to make money off the deed they stole. These scammers regularly scan obituaries for possible targets. They also occupy abandoned vacation homes. The more ruthless ones will target a property they want regardless if it’s inhabited.
To protect your family from these crimes, initiate probate of the estate as soon as possible after a loved one’s passing. It also helps to actively monitor the registry of deeds for any suspicious movements affecting the property of the person.
Unoccupied homes need to be constantly monitored for trespassers or illegal settlers. Remember to regularly check any activities related to your property. There are other things to be on the lookout for that suggest someone is attempting to steal your identity and home. Continue reading to learn what these warning signs are.
When scammers successfully obtain all crucial aspects of a property owner’s identity, they can easily change the billing address to whatever they like. This gives them more time to hide their crimes longer. So, if you’re not receiving utility or tax statements as you should, go straight to the agency involved to check if something’s wrong.
Foreclosure Rescue Letters
These types of correspondence are filled with lies that convince homeowners to sign over their deeds in exchange for lower monthly mortgages and written-off attorney fees. If you’re going through some financial struggles, the best way to settle matters is to talk to the official agencies involved.
Signs of Life
An unoccupied home or vacation spot will never have clean furniture or full trash bins. Visiting your unused properties allows you to monitor if anybody has been trespassing and enjoying the place while you’re away.
To remove all your worries, sign up for a title theft insurance plan. Once you’re a member, you get the benefit of having your property scanned with a complete monthly report provided. These agencies also have in-house lawyers who’ll work on your case if there are attempts that threaten your home’s security. This allows you to protect your assets from deed fraud so you can concentrate on your other obligations.