Dirty Deeds: NBC Shows How Loophole Could Cost You Your Home

  Back to News

NBC 5's Lisa Parker gets at the heart of the problem with property and recording fraud: criminals and bad actors abusing the open recording system and a collective sense of honesty on which we all rely.

Because homeowner's can't "freeze" their property titles and because County Recorders aren't allowed by law to verify legal claims made in recorded documents, everyone who owns property is vulnerable to having their title "clouded" by fraudulent documents.

Even savvy financial professionals like Chicago City Treasurer Stephanie Neely, a victim of property fraud, are speaking out to let people know this can happen to anyone:

Yes, I tell people it can happen to me, and I am a financial professional! People never check their deed. Now I tell people, check your deed, check your deed, check your deed!

Recorder Yarbrough wants home and property owners to know about this vulnerability, and about the steps her office has been taking to fight back:

"When I walked into this office, I knew this was happening ... and I decided I couldn't just sit idly by," said Yarbrough.

Yarbrough passed three bills in Springfield to help fight and punish this fraud. The new laws make certain fraudulent recordings a felony, and another created a new judicial review process to quickly invalidate clearly fraudulent documents at little to no cost to the victim.

Lisa Parker also interviewed Dr. Mark Pitcavage, the nation's leading authority on sovereign citizens (perpetrators of a good portion of property fraud), who was invited to Chicago by Yarbrough to share his knowledge with CCRD staff and local, state and federal law enforcement officials. Pitcavage describes some of this fraud as "paper terrorism," or the "use of bogus legal documents or the misuse of legal documents for the purpose of harassing, intimidating, and retaliating against anyone who has irritated a sovereign."

For example, I'm a sovereign citizen and I feel you have trespassed upon me in some way. I file a $25 million lien against your home and you can't sell that home. Your title is clouded and you have to go to court, spend a lot of time, money and effort. That's the essence of paper terrorism, using our open government as a weapon against the government and its citizens.

Though the fraudulent transfer can ultimately be rectified in court, there are scenarios where it is already too late. If the true owner of a property passes away before the fraud is discovered, or it is discovered in regards to a pending property sale, the resulting delay can be enough to delay or derail the transaction.

This content has been reproduced from its original source.



How Title Fraud Works

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.

Click to see if your home's title has been compromised.
Get your FREE TITLE SCAN and COMPREHENSIVE TITLE REPORT (a $100 value FREE with sign up)


Speak to a live agent
(800) 899-6268

Money Back Guarantee

"I've been a Home Title Lock customer for 2 years. Their customer service is excellent and I most appreciate the comfort that comes from knowing that I will be immediately alerted and assisted if anyone ever attempts to fraudulently use my title."

Read more of our reviews

Home Title Lock

Property ownership is not just the American dream, it's also the most flexible financial tool to build family prosperity. Home Title Lock ensures that your assets are protected against Title Fraud and Title Thieves.

Find Out More

Watch This Now


You Need Home Title Lock to Protect Your Property

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.


Speak to a live agent
(800) 899-6268

Latest Title Fraud News

How Easily Title Fraud Occurs

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


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.


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.


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.
Get your FREE TITLE SCAN and COMPREHENSIVE TITLE REPORT (a $100 value FREE with sign up)


Speak to a live agent
(800) 899-6268

Title and Mortgage Fraud are the fastest growing white collar crimes in America.

Everything is stored online these days - including your home's title. Domestic and international cyber-thieves target U.S. homeowners equity in their homes. Removing you from your home's title takes just minutes. Then they forge their name on the title document and refile it. Next, they take out loans using your home's equity and stick you with the payments. You likely won't know until you get a late payment or foreclosure notice from several banks.

Get your FREE TITLE SCAN and COMPREHENSIVE TITLE REPORT (a $100 value FREE with sign up)


Title Fraud is NOT COVERED by

Your Bank

Legal Trust

Homeowners Insurance

Identity Theft Protection

You Need Home Title Lock to Protect Your Property

Sign Up  

Activate Title Lock alerts and secure your property from fraudulent title filings