What is it, how it happens, & protecting your equity
What Is Title Fraud?
Title fraud occurs when someone changes ownership of your home by forging a new deed and recording it at the county courthouse. The scammer then capitalizes on the equity in the home and takes loans out against it using the property as collateral.
When Are Properties More At Risk?
- When there are NO mortgages against the property
- Vacant Land
- Un-monitored properties
How Do I Protect Myself?
- Register for fraud monitoring services offered by the County
- Purchase properties with an Enhanced title policy when possible
- Be vigilant in monitoring your credit reports for open mortgages you didn’t obtain
- Consider opening up a line of credit when there are no mortgages against the property
What About Paying For Additional Title Fraud Protection?
- Paying for additional protection does not stop the crime from happening or offer any remedies once the crime has been committed. It’s an additional service consumers can purchase from a third party that monitors home title activity and sends an alert if a change or irregularity occurs. This is not a preventative measure.
Doesn’t Title Insurance Protect Me?
- The standard title policy does not protect you against title fraud. This event happens after settlement and the standard policy only protects you through the date of settlement.
*If the buyer purchases the property from a fictitious seller then they would be protected.
- The enhanced title policy DOES protect you against title fraud under “Post Closing Forgeries.” While it can’t prevent the fraud from happening it does offer a solution through a title claim that can otherwise be a costly issue to remedy. Trident will default buyers to the enhanced policy unless they choose the standard. Title fraud is just one of the many reasons the enhanced policy is preferred.
Can I Purchase The Enhanced Policy From Trident After Settlement Has Occurred?
- No. Premiums must be selected and paid for at settlement and can not be retroactive.
FREE FRAUD PROTECTIONS!
Register your properties through FREE fraud detecting services offered on the county level
Montgomery County – Set up Fraud Sleuth Here
Bucks County – Set up Fraud Alert System Here
Philadelphia County – Set up Fraud Guard Here
Chester County – Set up Fraud Guard Here
Delaware County – Register for Fraud Sleuth Here