Home Title Protection Tips
Maybe you’ve heard about ‘home title theft’. That occurs when someone gets the deed to your property without your consent.
The fraudulent transfer of a home deed out of the rightful owner’s name to another person’s name is a crime. Norton.com reports that it’s usually done in 3 steps:
• Thieves target a home – often a vacant or vacation property.
• They create fake IDs via identity theft.
• Then, working through lawful entities, they transfer the home deed with fraudulent documents and forged signatures.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft is the largest threat consumers face. The journal of World Economic Research reported that deed theft amounted to $500 million in 2020. It begins with finding information via phishing, phone scams and hacking public Wi-Fi. Thieves also dumpster dive or steal mail information. Someone could be messing with your home title if you’ve stopped receiving bills, or if the utility bills have gone up at any vacant or second homes.
If you stop receiving rent payments from tenants or you’re receiving foreclosure notices, pay attention! Anytime you get information from a lender you don’t know, or suspicious loans or new lines of credit show up in your name, you’ve got problems. If any – or several – of these things have occurred, act fast. The FTC suggests first contacting companies where you’ve identified fraud. Next, place a fraud alert with credit bureaus. Get your credit reports. Then, report identity theft to the FTC and your local police department. Tomorrow I’ll offer ways to protect yourself from home title theft.
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