Home title theft

Rick Kahler: Can home title thieves can't steal your house? No, they can't.

Home title theft.

This is a “threat” I only learned about from frantic radio commercials warning that your home can be stolen from you. They claim thieves can deed your property to themselves and then mortgage or even sell it without your knowledge. In fact, they may have done so already! You may have lost all your home equity! You’ll discover the fraud when you are evicted by a foreclosure or new owner!

Of course, after all these alarms, the ads offer a solution: buy their title theft insurance. They promise to shield your title, monitor it 24/7 and alert you when a fraudulent title transfer is filed. One company charges $79 a year for $1,000,000 of title theft insurance. It’s highly unlikely any such company will ever pay out a dime of insurance.

The claims are so over the top that these companies either don’t understand the law or are intentionally bending the facts. Like most things, these outlandish claims include a grain of truth. It is true that anyone can forge your name to any document, including a deed supposedly transferring title to the forger. Such a deed could be filed with the county register of deeds.

That doesn’t mean someone has stolen your title.

First, a forged deed is not valid and conveys nothing. Only you can legally transfer your title to a third party. If a buyer or a lender rely on a forged deed and don’t do their due diligence on a property’s title, they are out of luck. They, not the legitimate property owner, will ultimately lose any money paid to the thief.

Click here to read full article. ~ Watertown Public Opinion