The threat of home title theft is real. The FBI states that property fraud is the fastest growing crime in America today with home title theft scenarios playing out in cities such as Newport Beach, Boulder, and Daytona Beach, just to name a few. And unfortunately, fraud may have already occurred with your home and you may not even know it!
Let’s take a look at the basics of home title theft – what it is, how it happens, and more importantly, how you can prevent it from happening to you.
What is title theft?
According to Moneyrates.com, “Home title fraud is an involuntary transfer of property ownership without the true owner’s consent or knowledge.” What does this mean? Basically, property fraud occurs when a criminal uses unsavory tactics to take control of your home right out from underneath you.
Here’s how title theft can happen to you.
Once a property fraud thief has you in his sights, here are common nefarious scenarios that you or a loved one could face:
- the thief could open a line of credit in your name and take out the entire amount in cash
- they could refinance your mortgage and cash out your hard-earned equity
- they can con a vulnerable senior homeowner into thinking they’re refinancing when they’re actually signing documents transferring ownership to the criminal at hand
they could use a forged deed to take possession of your rental property or unoccupied vacation home, then sell the home and disappear with the cash
Why should you worry about title theft? Because you’ll be on the financial hook!
Obviously, a thief isn’t going to make a payment on your line of credit or your mortgage. And while some homeowners would assume their banks or mortgage lenders will understand if you’re a victim of property fraud, you’re still on the hook financially until the matter gets resolved, which could take years if a criminal is brought to trial. No homeowner wants to be financially and emotionally broken, with no credit to speak of, and even worse, no home to go home to.
Being proactive is the key to deterring title theft.
As a homeowner, you probably already have a million things on your mind. When you think about being proactive, this could take up more of your time focusing on bills and monitoring accounts. But we’ve got the real-protection solution for this very real problem! HomeLock™ will monitor and keep your property safe 24/7/365. We scan 200+ data points to provide immediate detection and alerts, including MLS and rental websites, social media, and property address monitoring.
HomeLock™ membership also includes a 7-year title scan history report and access to DomiDocs, our award-winning digital home management platform where you’ll find everything from homeowner tips and tricks, to document organization and actionable recommendations personalized for your property.
Start your protecting your home today with HomeLock™.
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Author – Connie Motz