I hear ads on the radio for title theft insurance. Apparently, a thief can forge a document and steal someone’s house. How is it so easy to steal a half-million or more dollar box planted on a lot? And why do people have to pay on a subscription basis to fight title theft? Why can’t someone freeze their title like credit is frozen?
Simple…because our local government systems and processes are so far outdated.
The Title or Warranty Deed is a standard document that that can be easily forged and recorded at the courthouse to signify a change in ownership. We have a few counties that are piloting programs to send out alerts upon a title change, but its very early stage. From my perspective…and I own a lot of real estate… there are two defenses:
- Always have owners title insurance
- Always have the property encumbered by a lien, even if the balance is zero.