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Spotting and Avoiding Title Fraud in FloridaSpotting and Avoiding Title Fraud in Florida

Spotting and Avoiding Title Fraud in Florida

31 Jul 2019

In the real estate world, there are many dangers buyers need to look out for, title fraud is one of them.

Title fraud occurs when an individual alters the title or ownership of a property in a fraudulent way. In Florida, avoiding title fraud can be relatively easy. In fact, in the majority of cases, title fraud occurs due to ignorance, which leads to careless handling of personal information during real estate transactions.

Here is how you can spot and avoid title fraud:

Spotting Title Fraud

In Florida, when you buy a house, you also buy the title to the property, which gives you the right to own and live in your new home. At closing, your title company registers you in the appropriate courthouse, registry or title office as the legal owner of the property you purchased, and your name is officially linked to that property. Title fraud can be a type of identity theft where someone collects your personal information and uses it to impersonate you, which may occur through computer hacking, mailbox theft, phishing, and many other means.

The good news is you can easily spot title fraud; you just have to be careful and vigilant. Here is how they usually get homebuyers:

  1. A fraudster with a false ID registers forged documents in order to transfer your property to his or her name.
  2. A new mortgage is then secured against your home.
  3. The fraudster disappears with the mortgage funds and, of course, never makes any payments.
  4. The bank will think you are deliberately not paying your mortgage and start the foreclosure process.

If your mortgage mysteriously goes into default or your lender contacts you about unexpected foreclosure proceedings, you are likely being a victim of title fraud.

Although spotting title fraud before it is too late can save you a headache or two, it is best to avoid it altogether. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself against title fraud – it all comes down to being careful and vigilant throughout your real estate transaction.

Avoiding Title Fraud – Here is How You Can Protect Yourself

The key to protecting yourself against title fraud is confidentiality. Here is what you need to do:

  • Make sure your personal information remains confidential throughout the real estate transaction. You must be especially careful when surfing the web and sending/receiving emails.
  • Always make sure you know with whom you are dealing before divulging any personal information that could be used by fraudsters to steal your identity.
  • Do not keep all your IDs in the same place, like your wallet. Make sure you keep your social security card at home.
  • Check your credit report regularly – at least once every three to six months.
  • Contact the credit bureaus immediately upon detecting any fraudulent activity.
  • Purchase a title insurance policy that provides protection against all risks associated with title fraud.

The best time to protect yourself against title fraud is when you are buying a new home. In order to remain protected throughout the transaction, you should hire a licensed realtor and a reliable title company to handle your closing and make sure your personal information remains confidential.

Work with Marina Title

At Marina Title, we are committed to helping our clients avoid all types of title fraud. Our title professionals are the best in Florida because they are not just title experts, they are real estate attorneys who know how to ensure every stage in the home buying process is completed legally and safely.

To get in touch with the best title company in Florida, call us at (305) 901-5628 or send us an email to Romy@MarinaTitle.com to schedule an initial consultation.

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