Thursday, April 14, 2016
Franklin County Offers New Online Tool to Protect Property From Fraud
Earlier this year, the Franklin County Recorder’s Office announced a new electronic feature to help protect title holders from fraud. The free program, FraudSleuth, permits you to register your name to receive alerts if any activity occurs with respect to property titled in your name. It protects against certain acts of fraud where thieves file deeds to transfer property into their names and then mortgage the property to obtain loans. Properties with no liens are especially at risk. FraudSleuth also allows you to register to receive alerts if there is title activity involving someone else’s name, which is useful for monitoring the title of elderly parents.
More from the Columbus Dispatch:
The system is designed to let consumers know whether a mechanic’s lien has been filed against their home. But it can be used in other ways as well. Because a consumer can get alerts on someone else, it would allow a person, for example, to discover whether an elderly parent unwittingly signed a contract for their home.
FraudSleuth has been helpful, for instance, in alerting homeowners and their families of a rash of reverse-mortgage filings in Michigan, said Jeff Rothenberg of PropertyInfo, the software company hired by the county for the new system.
Because it sends alerts only about something that has already happened, the program can’t, of course, prevent such filings. But you’re a lot better off knowing about a lien the moment it happens instead of discovering it when you’re preparing to sell the home or refinance.
While we have not seen any specific instances of this type of fraud occurring to our clients, we are aware that electronic and identity theft are on the rise. We recommend that our clients sign up for FraudSleuth today in order to protect their title. You can enroll for free by registering on the Franklin County Recorder’s Property Search webpage.