Property Fraud is a silent assault upon your real estate where the fraudster either mortgages your mortgage free property or sells it to some hapless buyer. You don't find out about it until days, weeks, months or maybe even years later. For a prime example, see my most read article from years back, TRUE STORY - Renter forges deed, then conspires to sell house and pocket mortgage proceeds. Title insurance does not protect you from this type of fraud.
Kudos to several clerks of court around the nation for initiating a free PROPERTY FRAUD ALERT using the public records resources of the clerk of court (or whatever they may be called in different jurisdictions) to alert owners of real estate of filing activity with their name. This is much like the various identity theft alert subscriptions you can pay for - but this does not monitor your credit score and credit inquiries. Instead it alerts you to the recording of any document with your name on it.
To take advantage of the free service, you need to register with your local clerk of the court - the keeper of the public records. For example in Palm Beach County, Florida, you sign up using the forms with this link: http://pfa.fidlar.com/FLPalmbeach/ This is a great resource for every real estate agent and broker to give to your clients if it is available in your marketplace!
The problem with the current system is that it is not tied to the real estate you own. Instead it is tied to your name. So if your name is John Smith, you are going to get notifications every time any document is put in the public records for any John Smith. Certainly not a perfect system but better to have too much information than no information at all.
As the Palm Beach Clerk's website says, "Reviewing your property records is an important way to protect yourself from fraud. Don't delay, sign up today!" In other words - it won't work for you unless you sign up for it.
© 2015 Richard P Zaretsky, Esq.
Be sure to contact your own attorney for your state laws, and always consult your own attorney on any legal decision you need to make. This article is for information purposes and is not specific advice to any one reader.
Richard Zaretsky, Esq., AUTOMATED LAND TITLE COMPANY and ZARETSKY LAW GROUP, ATTORNEYS AT LAW, 1615 FORUM PLACE, SUITE 3A, WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA 33401, PHONE www.Florida-Counsel.com.RPZ@ZARETSKYLAW.COM - FLORIDA BAR BOARD CERTIFIED IN REAL ESTATE LAW - Website
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