National Agency Warns
Homeowners of Online Deed Fraud
A national vacation home rental agency, is issuing a warning to
homeowners regarding how easy it is for criminals to steal your
home. The County Website and a simple form is all a criminal
With this rising scam, criminals search publicly accessible county
websites, find out which homes are not owner occupied (including
Florida vacation rental homes) and who owns them, fill out
inexpensive deed forms with forged or copied signatures, and have
themselves declared the new owners of the property. Once this
somewhat simple process is complete, the new so-called owners of the
property may either resell it to unsuspecting buyers or take out a
new mortgage, eventually disappearing with the money. The actual
property owner is left with a legal battle on his or her hands, once
the fraud is brought to light.
Sadly, there is currently no foolproof way to prevent quit claim
deed fraud, but there are measures that can be taken to avoid the
problem. First, owners of Florida vacation rental homes may wish to
establish a land trust that can hide the actual owners’ names from
public record. This makes it more difficult for a criminal to forge
a signature, and will likely make the property less appealing to a
Second, all owners of Florida vacation rental homes should check
the county websites on a weekly basis in order to catch an
unauthorized change in ownership or any other inaccurate information
as quickly as possible.
Finally, owners should talk to their county authorities to ensure
that when a deed is filed, the county is following up to determine
that the signature is authentic and that all parties are
knowledgeable on the agreement. Some counties already have such
measures in place, but not all.
Those looking to purchase Florida vacation rental homes should also
be aware of deed scams and should be careful to review any and all
documentation before making a final purchase to make sure the seller
of the property does truly have the rights to make the sale.
“Deed fraud can be devastating to the owners of Florida vacation
rental homes,” said Fraser Hannah, owner of
http://www.traveling2florida.com/. “Don’t let someone steal your home out
from under you – make sure you are aware of the problem and of the
potential solutions in order to avoid a major headache down the
your property has been taken from you by deed fraud or other types
of identity theft, you may have legal remedies. You should check
with an attorney.
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