The Department of Finance has launched a new program that will allow property owners to receive an email, text message, or letter by mail any time certain property related documents are filed. The program is designed to assist homeowners in detecting and preventing specific types of property fraud.
Property fraud, including deed and mortgage fraud, often involves the recording of documents at the City Register’s Office (or the Office of the Richmond County Clerk), without the knowledge of the actual property owner. Some fraudulent schemes include recording a deed or mortgage with forged signatures. Others may involve recording a deed or mortgage that has been materially altered after the owner signs it but before it is recorded. Criminals who record a phony deed may then either obtain a mortgage or sell the property.
Property fraud can also overlap with identity theft when a criminal pretending to be the owner of a property uses stolen personal information to obtain a mortgage. In most cases of property fraud, the actual property owners may be unaware of any fraudulent activity until they sell their home, transfer title to a relative, refinance their mortgage, or become subject to a foreclosure action.
Learn more about the program and register to receive notices