Can insurance protect your most valuable asset? From 2015 to 2019, real estate and rental fraud grew at 2.6 times the rate of credit card fraud and caused twice as much damage in losses. One thing that makes home title fraud so dangerous is how relatively unknown it is. It can happen to any homeowner from any source; in one awful case, an elderly couple learned their own grandson had mortgaged and attempted to sell their home without their knowledge. How can one protect themselves from something they don’t understand?
The first step is to gain understanding. Home title fraud happens when forged deeds are created using online property data from public records. Scammers then file paperwork with the county claiming ownership of someone else’s home. They use false deeds for profit by taking out loans against the property, selling the property with a quitclaim deed, or inheriting the property after its true owner’s death. The real homeowner may go unaware of the scam until they are foreclosed on or discover someone else living at their property. Elderly homeowners and those who own more than a primary residence are especially vulnerable to this sort of fraud.
The next step to protecting oneself is buying title insurance, which protects a homeowner from past discrepancies when purchasing a home. However, title insurance doesn’t protect against new fraud attempts once homeownership is gained. Home Title Lock could secure a home’s title the way security companies protect the physical property with a virtual perimeter around the home’s online title and mortgage that alerts homeowners of any evidence tampering has occurred, but DIY ways to stay safe include keeping personal information private and keeping close track of financial statements, including bills and bank accounts.
Don’t let strangers get inside. Keep your home title locked.
Further reading: Eminent Domain – Public vs Private