A new wave of crime stems from the accessibility of online public records pertaining to house titles. Crooks can obtain those documents with signatures and addresses of homeowners, and forge deeds to make it appear that the house was sold and transferred to a new buyer, making a profit without the true homeowner ever knowing. This is an epidemic in Manhattan that is occurring more and more every year. The New York City Department of Finance is investigating 120 of these cases and has begun notifying propery owners whenever a new deed is recorded in order to alert them if the transfer is in fact fraudulent. This trend is especially prevalent when the homeowner is an investor of a vacant house, such that they do not visit the house often and would be largely unaware of what goes on there, even when a new tenant moves in. This crime is occurring in Chicago and Detroit as well as other cities across the country. But when and if the crime is discovered, a whole trail of fraud must be untangled if the true homeowner hopes to retrieve what belonged to them all along.
Crooks Steal Houses from Homeowners
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