You’ve heard and seen the ads, you’ve started doing your own research, but you may still be wondering:
Is Home Title Lock a legitimate service and is it something you should be paying for?
Here are some answers to common questions that will help you understand more about what Home Title Lock is and why you might want it.
Is Home Title Lock a Legitimate Service?
Home Title Lock is a legitimate service that offers real-time home title monitoring and title protection for homeowners. It’s the only company that provides nationwide monitoring and fraud alerts with a Fraud and Resolution Division supervised by a retired FBI agent.
What Does Home Title Lock Offer Exactly?
Home Title Lock is primarily an always-on title monitoring service. The company monitors titles for customers 24/7 and sends alerts if they detect that new documents that could affect your property value or ownership. Homeowners can monitor their titles on their own, but to do it requires them to manually check county records to ensure that no changes have been made to their titles.
Additionally, Home Title Lock also provides customers with resolution team support or a dedicated title resolution agent depending on the plan purchased. This support is offered and available in the event that the homeowner becomes a victim of home title theft or attempted theft. The process homeowners have to go through to undo efforts by home title criminals can be complex and time-consuming. Home Title Lock can help give homeowners more clarity and peace of mind while navigating through the legal process of returning a home title to its rightful owner.
Finally, Home Title Lock offers all new customers a free, comprehensive title report, valued at $100. This report shows past activity on your property and can also inform you if you’re already a victim of title fraud.
How Much Does Home Title Lock Cost?
Home Title Lock has three plans that homeowners can choose from when signing up for their home title monitoring service: a monthly plan, a 12-month plan, and a 4-year plan.
The monthly plan costs $19.95/month and offers homeowners 24/7 monitoring of their title and title resolution team support.
The 12-month plan costs $199/year and offers homeowners 24/7 monitoring of their title, a dedicated title resolution agent, and free custom analysis of your home title.
The 4-year plan charges a one-time fee of $796 and offers homeowners 24/7 monitoring of their title, a dedicated title resolution agent, and free custom analysis of your home title.
All Home Title Lock plans also include a free Title Scan & Comprehensive Title Report when you become a new customer.
Is Home Title Lock the Same as Title Insurance?
No, Home Title Lock is not the same as title insurance. Title insurance protects buyers and lenders from financial loss or impact if a title defect or hidden lien is found on a property during closing.
It’s important to understand that this type of insurance protects against issues that occurred before the date of the closing, but not after the date of closing.
That’s what makes Home Title Lock beneficial for homeowners—it offers a way to monitor for title changes once you’ve closed on a property and become the new owners.
Does Home Title Fraud Actually Happen?
Yes, title fraud does happen. In fact, it’s been reported that title and mortgage fraud are one of the fastest-growing white-collar crimes in America. The FBI reported losses totaling more than $5 billion in 2015 as a result of title and mortgage fraud. According to CoreLogic, mortgage fraud increased by a concerning 37.2% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2021.
One reason why this type of fraud is growing in popularity may be due to the fact that the U.S. population is aging. Rural Health Information Hub says that “there are more than 46 million older adults age 65 and older living in the U.S.; by 2050, that number is expected to grow to almost 90 million.” As this group of people ages, they gain more equity in their homes and become more at risk of cybercrimes and attempts to steal their personal information.
Criminals target older people because they tend to be less tech-savvy and less likely to notice when changes have been made to accounts in their name.
Although this demographic is particularly vulnerable to home title fraud, it can really happen to any homeowner, regardless of age.
Why Do Criminals Want to Steal a Home Title?
When a criminal transfers your home title out of your name and into another, their goal is not to actually obtain or occupy your house. Instead, what they’re actually after is your home equity. They want to be able to use your home equity as collateral when obtaining fraudulent loans, and the way they do it is by forging home title documents.
What Are the Warning Signs?
Some common warning signs to watch out for include:
- Not receiving statements from your current lender
- Receiving statements from a lender you do not recognize
- Notice of default on a loan you do not recognize
- Someone else’s name on your property tax documents
- You find that you are unable to sell your home or transfer it to someone else
The big 2-part question is this:
1. Is Home Title Lock a scam?
No, Home Title Lock is not a scam. It’s a legitimate service that people actively use to monitor and protect their home titles and keep their home equity out of the hands of criminals.
While it’s true that you can manually monitor your home title documents on your own, it takes time and knowledge of how your country records office manages documents.
2. Do you need Home Title Lock?
It’s not a requirement for homeownership, but paying for the service can save you a lot of time and give you more peace of mind. Home Title Lock does the heavy lifting for you when it comes to monitoring your home title and provides resources and support if you find that a criminal has transferred your home title out of your name or taken out loans against the equity you have in your property.