Forgery: An Increasingly Common Problem in Real Estate Deeds

If you have personally never been a victim of real estate forgery, you may not be aware that these things happen. Real estate forgery is a real thing and it can happen to anyone who owns property or is in the process of purchasing property. Typically, the only way you can ensure you will not become a victim of loss of property due to a forged deed is by purchasing title insurance. Arrowhead Title, Inc would like to help you understand what real estate forgery is and how to prevent it from happening to you.


How Does Real Estate Forgery Happen?
Forged deeds are exactly what it sounds like; a fraudulent scheme where someone forges the homeowner's name on a property deed and uses that title to claim ownership of that property. You may be asking yourself, how can someone get away with this? How this happens is the person who commits the fraud usually manages to have the deed notarized using false identification. After the document is falsely notarized, the scammer can record the deed and use the deed to take out a mortgage loan for the property. Typically, the scammer takes possession of the money received from the home loan long before the bank starts the foreclosure process with the unexpected homeowner that's name was forged onto the deed.

Unfortunately the Problem is Yours 
Even if the scammer is caught, the forged deed is still your problem. The scammer will be subjected to a felony, hefty fines, and possible jail time but you are still responsible for keeping the ownership of your home safe. You may be wondering, how will I know if I become a victim of a deed fraud? You should get an idea that you are a victim of deed fraud if you receive any documents in the mail about a mortgage loan that you did not take out. Another sign is if the county recorder notifies you about a deed recording that you did not sign. Another red flag is if you stop receiving property tax bills or if you receive a notice that your home is being defaulted when you have not made several delinquent payments on your mortgage. Any of these signs probably mean that someone is trying to take ownership of your home and you should take action immediately.

You Can Solve the Problem 
As soon as you suspect you are a victim of real estate fraud from a forged deed, contact your local law enforcement immediately. After you alert the authorities, you should consult with a licensed real estate attorney, Legal action can be taken to void the deed by what is known as a "quiet title." This will clear any fraudulent and improperly recorded deeds.

Are You Insured?
If you purchased title insurance when you purchased your property, chances are you are covered under your title insurance policy. The policy is designed to protect you from losses arising from title defects that you didn't know about. Prior forgeries, like a forged deed, is a defect that insurance policies cover.

Arrowhead Title believes that accuracy matters. We are here to ensure that when you purchase a property, you can rest easy knowing that your property title is free and clear of any defects. Don't risk being a victim of forgery, hire the Lake of the Ozarks best title company. We are here to help protect your investment. If you have any questions, give us a call at 573-302-1950!

Where Accuracy Matters!

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750 Bagnell Dam Blvd Suite B
Lake Ozark, MO 65049

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