Real estate title fraud, also known as title theft, occurs when someone changes the ownership of your property to themselves, forges your signature on a deed & records it, leaving them free to sell your property.
You can’t prevent it, but you can make it more difficult by requesting an alert of any activity on your property.
- Fraudsters typically target homes that are paid in full & have no mortgage. They file forged documents with a county recorder.
- Once the document is recorded, it is up to you, the homeowner, to petition the court, at your own expense, to get a court order to have the fraudulent recording removed.
There are companies that offer “title protection services” for a fee to homeowners. These companies claim to protect property owners from criminals who forge a homeowner’s name on a deed, file the deed at the local courthouse, and then take out a mortgage against the home, or some variation on this theme. But this is more a notification service that there is recording activity on your property.
However, most counties offer a free Property Fraud Alert that will call or email you any time a document is recorded against your property, or the property of a loved one.
The websites for Cook, DuPage & Lake are listed below. This alert service is free to you. Sign up to be notified of activity on your property!
Karen Daugerdas, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Broker, 847.494.1102. #preventfraud #titlefraud #cookcounty #dupagecounty #lakecounty #protectyourhome