Someone Stole My Home
I recall in the late 90s into the early 00s, there was fraud going around involving criminals stealing homes. Yes, I said stealing homes. Stealing a home is not like going to an address, physically picking it up and moving it to a new address. This crime was much more calculated. The criminal forged documents resulting in either a quick claim deed or a bill of sale for the home without the actual owner’s knowledge. The criminal simply went to the county official records department and filed the paperwork. The official records department is not responsible for certifying the validity of the documents. They simply accept a fee and file the documents. The unsuspecting actual owner many not become aware to some time later after the criminal has moved on.
If there is a mortgage or a first lien position this criminal act is almost impossible because the 1st lien holder has to allow their first lien position to be subordinated. This acts as a checks and balances. Once the criminal walks into the official records department and realizes they cannot simply take the home they most likely move on. This sounds pretty simple as most people have a mortgage on their home. If you are one of the lucky few who has managed to pay off your home, you can still manage the same checks and balance system by having a home equity line in place. You don’t have to use it or even have a balance on it, but it serves as a protection of sorts with this particular type of criminal act. I have found an attorney who has written a detailed article on the matter with other options to protect your home. Good Luck and stay safe.