|News for Public Officials|
Criminals have discovered how easy it is to get real estate with no money down: just steal it off the county website.
With little more than a copied signature and a notary seal taken from the county website, thieves have scooped up homes and vacant lots, taking out a mortgage or selling the property to unsuspecting buyers before the original owners know what hit them.
Typically, property thieves target homes and vacant lots that seem
abandoned or have delinquent taxes and multiple liens -- signs an owner
isn't attentive. After that, all it takes is a trip to the store and
then the clerk or county recorder's office.
In a prison interview with the Chicago Tribune, convicted identity thief Christopher Scott said, "If you are still making money selling drugs, you are an informant or about to be busted - mortgage fraud is the thing to do now."
To make a point, Davis said he recently forged a deed with a
relative's permission and filed it in Miami-Dade County. No problem.
Lenders and the real property owners don't discover the fraud until
foreclosure action is taken and title insurance does not protect homeowners
from fraud that happens after the policy is issued.
Criminals steal houses through deed forgery - Miami Herald
Mortgage fraud is the thing to do now.' - Chicago Tribune