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Home Title Fraud – Everything You Need to Know AMAC

Posted on Monday, October 23, 2023
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House deed with keys for Home Title Fraud

Sponsored By – Home Title Lock

Home title fraud is a growing threat affecting homeowners across the United States, so much so the FBI created a name for it – House Stealing!

But what exactly is home title fraud and how does it happen? Who is most at risk and what can you do to protect yourself from this new breed of cybercriminals?

In this guide, we’ll give you everything you need to know about home title fraud so you can protect yourself and your family against a complex, costly crime that could change your life forever.

What is Home Title Fraud?

Title fraud is also known as house stealing, property fraud, & deed fraud. Title fraud occurs when someone fraudulently changes the name on your title from you to them, effectively stealing your home. Then, the criminals take out loans using your home as collateral, pocket the money, and disappear.

As you can imagine, this type of crime can be devastating for homeowners, especially those who have 100% equity in their homes.

When home title fraud occurs, victims are left to pick up the pieces and must enter into an expensive and time-intensive legal process to reclaim their title and dissociate themselves from the debt that has been attached to their property.

How Does Home Title Fraud Happen?

One of the reasons why home title fraud has increased in recent years is because of how easy it is for criminals—or anyone—to access homeowner information online. If you own a home, your title and mortgage information is stored online and available for anyone to see.

Here’s how home title fraud happens:

Step 1: The criminal gets your information by downloading your title from your county’s website. They have instant access to your home equity, your primary contact information, and even examples of your signature.

Step 2: The criminal forges their name or a fictitious name on the title, uses a fake notary stamp, and refile it with the county to claim ownership of your home. They spend a small fee to file the paperwork with your forged signature attached.

Step 3: The criminal profits on the home by taking out loans, refinancing, selling with a quitclaim deed, or by legally inheriting the property after the original owner’s death.

As a homeowner, you will be unaware of the changes that have been made to your title and ownership until one of the following happens:

  • You receive a letter from a lender informing you of a foreclosure on the property.
  • You go to refinance or sell the property and find that you are unable to do so because you are no longer listed as the owner.
  • You discover someone else is living at a rental or investment property that you rarely visit in person.

At this point in time, the only way to deal with the problem is to spend thousands—if not hundreds of thousands—of dollars and countless hours in court trying to unwind the damage that has been done.

Who is Most At Risk of Home Title Fraud?

If you’ve made it this far, you might be thinking to yourselves, “this sounds scary, but am I actually at risk?”

The simple answer is yes—if you have a home or multiple homes and have any equity in those homes, you are at risk of home title fraud.

Home title fraud criminals will target the following types of homeowners:

  1. All homeowners. Anyone who owns a home is at risk of losing their title to criminals. This is because title information is publicly available for criminals to find and alter. All they need to do is forge a few documents and pay a small fee for ownership to be transferred to them.
  2. Homeowners with high equity. It’s estimated that 34% of American homeowners have 100% equity in their property, making them an attractive target for home title fraud. Criminals specifically target homes that are 100% paid off or ones that they know have high equity. These types of homes offer bigger payouts for them. They can take out bigger loans against the equity of the house.
  3. Seniors and aging parents. Criminals target seniors because they usually have a lot of equity built up in their homes and they are less adept at preventing online identity theft. They also might be less aware of the typical signs of fraud that other homeowners would recognize sooner.
  4. Second home or investment property owners. Criminals look for homes that are vacant, like second homes or rental properties. The owners of these homes are not typically paying as close attention to them as their main property where they live, making them prime targets for fraud.

Homeowners in each of these categories are falling victim to home title fraud, and the prevalence of this crime is only increasing each year.

How to Protect Yourself From Home Title Fraud

If you want to be more proactive when it comes to preventing home title fraud, consider taking some or all of the following steps:

Step 1: Monitor your credit report. Look for any discrepancies or unexplained changes that could point to fraudulent activity.

Step 2: Pay attention to your mail. Make sure you are still receiving mail from your current lenders and look for mail from lenders you don’t recognize.

Step 3: Manually monitor your home title documents. Access county public records and look for any changes that have been made without your knowledge.

Step 4: Physically visit your investment properties. Make sure no one unexpected has taken up residence in your home.

Step 5: Enroll in protection services. Use a service like Home Title Lock to automatically monitor changes to your home title.

Get Immediate Protection with Home Title Lock

The best way to protect yourself against home title fraud is to enroll in a service that offers real-time home title protection.

Home Title Lock provides the ultimate home title security with their TripleLock™ Protection:

Lock One – 24/7 Monitoring

They provide the necessary 24/7 monitoring to detect any tampering with the title to your home.

Lock Two – Urgent Alerts

Their proprietary system scans multiple data sources, triggering timely alerts of any changes to your title.

Lock Three – Restoration

If you’re a title fraud victim, their US-based Restoration Team works with lawyers and experts to help restore your title.

Learn more about Home Title Lock and sign up to become a member and start receiving protection right away.

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Jeff Freshour
Jeff Freshour
9 months ago

This is a glorified commercial disguised as a news article to sell a product based on fear. Is this really AMACs way of raising sponsorship?

Charlie
Charlie
9 months ago

What troubles me most about Title Lock Insurance is that none of my financial advisors have ever heard of such fraud beyond the adverts for Home Title Lock vendors. This includes my insurance broker and my financial advisor. Indeed, if my insurance broker isn’t offering me a policy, I have trouble believing there’s a risk worth insuring.

DMM
DMM
9 months ago

Utter Nonsense. Fraud is fraud. The bank is out the money if they didn’t require Title Insurance for the closing; not you. A Title Insurance company will see right through the forgery, fraud, false transaction, what ever you want to call it. The bank cannot take your property through a fraudulent transaction because that violates the law. Read Forbes “Home Title Theft Baloney”. Don’t fall for this garbage.

Ed Zehrung
Ed Zehrung
9 months ago

Amac is stooping to NEW LOWS with advertising CRAP like this! They are acting like AARP…publishing anything for a few bucks!

Dean
Dean
9 months ago

Ultimately the fraudsters and all who cooperated in this fraud are liable. This insurance would do nothing to prevent fraud, just assist after the fact. Not a worthwhile product.

Herb F.
Herb F.
9 months ago

Folks, remember when you bought your house and all the paperwork and legal documents and scrutiny you were forced by your lender to endure. Guess what, they still exist and still require all that information. If you don’t believe it try and get an equity loan on a property you don’t have a mortgage on, ask a relative or close friend to help you with this exercise. It won’t take long for you to get caught trying to defraud the institution involved. Those regulations are in place and are followed with the utmost oversight by the lender to prevent exactly what they intended for.

Paul
Paul
9 months ago

I have signed up with my County Clerk here in Dallas, Texas to receive alerts when my name shows up in any home title transaction in the county. It’s a good way for the local government entity to help homeowners monitor any title-related activity. I get an email when there is an alert.

Russell H Rybolt
Russell H Rybolt
9 months ago

We must continue to call BS on this fearmongering. Keep the pressure on AMAC and all of the TV and radio personalities who encourage this for profit. Let’s see how enthusiastically they support these parasites when they start losing supporters and membership dues? Stop being victims.

Chaplain Dave
Chaplain Dave
9 months ago

I was just going to type what Jeff F said; he said it well. Roosevelt said about FEAR is that fear itself is crippling. Older people live in fear because of tv news! and now AMAC? Having been in nations of fear (everything there is comprised of fear, stemming from their made up religions). America needs to remember its roots in Judea Christian values and the freedom of knowing about eternal life and the free gift in Jesus that it is for those who believe.

William Oltman
William Oltman
9 months ago

This Stolen Title Article is unduly frightening to homeowners. A “fraudulent deed” does not convey anything and is void from the moment it is signed. Therefore anyone claiming an ownership interest based upon the “fraudulent “deed” has nothing to sell, mortgage or encumber. The risk of loss falls on the buyer, or mortgagee etc. who has relied on the fraud. It doesn’t matter how genuine the fraudulent signature appears it is up to the fraudulent seller and the buyer of the fraudulent interest to authenticate the ownership of the property being sold….Does AMAC have a partnership with Title Lock?

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