How Title Fraud Works

Title Fraud:

When someone steals the title of your home for financial gain.

Thieves simply change ownership of your home from YOU to THEM. Then they TAKE OUT LOANS on your home and just disappear - leaving YOU with the payments and a mountain of legal bills.
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FRAUD UPDATE

2008 FBI document outlines the rise of the newest white collar crime "House Stealing - The Latest Scam on the Block."

- FBI Website Consumer Alert

Deed fraud, helped by proliferation of online records, is reaching "epidemic" levels in Manhattan and becoming more common elsewhere in the U.S.

- Wall Street Journal

How Easily Title Fraud Occurs

EVERYTHING is stored online in the cloud - including your home's title

1

Domestic and international thieves scour online records for homes with equity. It could be the home you live in, your vacation home, a home of an elderly relative, or rental property you own.


2

Once they change your home's ownership from YOU to THEM, they re-file the Quitclaim Deed for your home with the proper authorities so it appears your home has been legally sold.


3

They take out personal loans through banks and online lenders using all your home's equity. You likely won't know you're a victim until you start receiving late payments or foreclosure notices.

Click to see if your home's title has been compromised.
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Resolution Division
Led by a Former Title Insurance Executive

Thirty years ago we started creating the largest database of property records in the United States. Today, that database has 6.1 billion property records. We protect your property value and ownership from on-line threats both foreign and domestic.

We are Home Title Lock.

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Who is at Risk of Title Fraud?

Homeowners

Your Title Information is PUBLIC RECORD

All a thief needs to steal your home is your street address and the name on your title, both of which are public record. A thief can simply go online or visit your County Recorder’s office, pay a few dollars, and legally obtain a copy of your deed.

It’s Easier Than Stealing a Car (& More Profitable)

Thieves can borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars against your property without leaving the comfort of their home. They simply utilize many county recorder’s online document retrieval and recording systems, and digitally record a forged deed transfer. Then, they takes out loans against your home, and disappear.

Seniors

Seniors Are Often Longtime Homeowners

Thieves seek the money a home’s equity can provide via loans. Homes owned as little as five years have built considerable equity. The elderly may have owned their homes for decades, making their equity laden homes prime targets for thieves.

Seniors Often Own Their Home Free & Clear

As seniors tend to be longtime homeowners, many own their titles free & clear. Thieves seek homes owned free & clear due to their substantial equity. The more equity in a home, the more loans a thief can take out. Homes higher in equity are more desirable because a thief can take out tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans.

High Equity

High Equity Means More Money

The more equity in a home, the more loans a thief can take out. Homes higher in equity are more desirable because a thief can take out tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans.

Free & Clear Title

Homeowners Are Less Likely to Notice

Homeowners without a mortgage are less likely to notice small warning signs of deed theft. For instance, they may receive a past due notice in the mail and simply recycle it, not realizing that it’s from a legitimate bank who has financial interest in the property due to the fraudulent loans. Then, after ignoring the past due notice, that owner will potentially face foreclosure or even eviction.

Multiple Properties

Vacation Properties & Second Homes Make Great Targets

Vacation Properties and second homes often sit vacant for long periods of time. Thieves can sell the property or take out loans, knowing the rightful owners will not find out for weeks, months, or even a year.

Renters Have Immediate Access to the Property

Rental properties are at an increased risk as renters have direct access to the information needed to sell the home. These properties are often left unsupervised for extended periods of time, leaving a thief ample time to take out loans and disappear.

Aging Parents

Care Takers Have Full Access to Information

An in-home or outpatient elderly care professional has easy access to the information needed to steal a home. They can simply file a forged deed transfer, adding them to the title and, when the elderly parent or family member passes, the title passes in full to them. And it’s difficult to prove otherwise.

Ideal Prey for Untrustworthy Family Members

Like a healthcare professional, an untrustworthy family member may also have access to all the information needed to steal a home. They simple file a forged deed transfer, adding themselves to the title of the property, wait for the elderly family member to pass away, and take full ownership of the home.

Industry Professionals

Real Estate Agents

Home Title Lock can offer your clients peace of mind. While homeowners buy title insurance when they purchase a home, it only protects them until they close escrow. Going forward, they are vulnerable to title fraud. Help protect your clients with Home Title Lock.

Private lenders

Lending money is already a risky business. Let Home Title Lock help minimize your risk by letting you know exactly who is on the title of your investment, when any changes are made on your investment, and if any changes are made without your consent or knowledge).

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Title Fraud is NOT COVERED by

Your Bank

Legal Trust

Homeowners Insurance

Identity Theft Protection

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Title Fraud can Occur in Many Different Ways

Grant Deed - Warranty Deed

A grant deed or a warranty deed are used in some states for the sale or transfer of real property from one person or entity to another person or entity. The document must be notarized and signed by both parties.

In the instance of fraud, a thief will forge a deed transfer document using the public information he obtained online or in-office via the County Recorder, and file the forged deed. Then they take out loans using your home as collateral, pocket the money, and disappear.

Home Title Lock would notify you that a new grant deed or warranty deed was filed on the property, and then work with you to stop the scammer before the scammer can take out any loans or sell the property.

Quitclaim Deed

A quitclaim deed is a document used to transfer any title, claim or interests in a piece of property from one person or entity to another person or entity. It makes no assurance that the person or entity transferring the property has valid claim to it and, as such, is often used to transfer real estate between family members or into a trust.

In the instance of fraud, a scammer can forge a quitclaim deed using your information obtained legally via the County Recorder and file the deed, transferring the property out of your name and into an alias. Then, they either sell the property behind your back or take out loans, and disappear.

Home Title Lock would notify you that a quitclaim deed was filed on your property, and then work with you to stop the scammer before they can take out any loans or sell the property.

Joint Tenancy Deed

A joint tenancy deed is the holding of an estate or property jointly between two or more parties. The share of each party passes to the other or others upon death.

Often preying on the elderly or sick, a thief would file a forged joint tenancy deed, adding their name to the title of the property. Upon the death of the rightful owner, the thief would file an affidavit of death of joint tenant and become the sole owner of the property. At that point, it is difficult to prove otherwise.

Home Title Lock would notify you that someone was added to the title of you or a loved one’s property, and then Home Title Lock would work with you to remove that name before the rightful owner’s death and before thief can sell the property or take out loans against it.

The instant we detect anyone tampering with your title or mortgage, we're on it alerting you and mobilizing to help shut it down.
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