skip to main content
Search Search Investors Icon Investors Careers phone 1-800-318-8997

A couple is stressed while examining documents after being impacted by title fraud.
Your home
 is likely the biggest purchase you’ll ever make in terms of investment, stability, and personal accomplishment. However, amid the excitement of acquiring a new property, it’s crucial you’re aware of the potential risks that could compromise your financial security. The biggest such risk is title fraud, which this blog from Landmark National Bank will help you understand.

What Is Title Fraud?

Title fraud is committed when someone falsely represents themselves as the property owner and then sells or mortgages the property without the true owner’s knowledge or consent. This can have devastating consequences for the legitimate property owner, ranging from financial loss to legal complications.

Who Can Be a Victim of Title Fraud?

While anyone can be targeted by a title fraud scheme, certain circumstances make individuals more susceptible. Homeowners who own their properties outright, without a mortgage, are particularly vulnerable. Without a mortgage lender actively monitoring the property’s title, fraudulent activities can go undetected for a more extended period.

Moreover, vacant or rental properties are common targets of fraud. In these cases, the true owners might not regularly check the property or its associated documents, providing fraudsters an opportunity to exploit the situation under their noses. Additionally, properties with absentee owners or landlords who live out of state may face higher risks, as they might not be as vigilant in monitoring their property records.

How To Avoid Title Fraud

Protecting yourself from title fraud involves a combination of vigilance, preventive measures, and securing the right resources. Here are some crucial steps to minimize your risk.

  • Regularly check your property records. Stay proactive by regularly checking your property records for any unauthorized changes or transactions. Many local government websites provide online access to property records, allowing you to review them at your convenience.
  • Secure your personal information. Guard your personal information carefully. Shred important documents containing sensitive details before discarding them, and be cautious about sharing personal information online. Identity theft is not a joke, and it’s often a precursor to title fraud.
  • Use strong passwords. If you have online access to your property records, ensure your login credentials are secure. Use strong passwords and change them regularly to prevent unauthorized access. According to Microsoft, a strong password includes:
    • 12 to 14 characters or more
    • A combination of uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers
    • One or more special characters (!, @, #, $, etc.)
    • Nothing easily guessable, such as your name, “password,” or “12345”
    • No phrases or words from old passwords
  • Consider title insurance. Title insurance is a powerful tool to protect against title fraud. This type of insurance covers losses arising from title issues, including fraud. While it may require an upfront investment, the long-term protection it offers is well worth the cost.

Understanding Title Insurance Costs and More

Title insurance is a policy that protects homeowners and lenders from financial loss due to defects in a property title. In the context of title fraud, this insurance can be a crucial guardrail against financial devastation. If you fall victim to title fraud, your title insurance policy can cover your financial losses, legal fees, and other related expenses. Investing in title insurance is a proactive and cost-effective way to mitigate the risks associated with title fraud, ensuring that even if fraudulent activities occur, you have a financial safety net to help you recover.

Seek Expert Advice From Landmark National Bank

While title fraud is a real and concerning threat, there are practical steps you can take to protect your property and financial well-being. Regularly monitoring your property records, securing personal information, and using strong passwords are easy ways to reduce your risk of suffering from title fraud. By staying informed and proactive, you can ensure your journey into homeownership is a secure and rewarding experience.

Landmark National Bank is here to help you successfully manage your finances. We offer personalized services that range from checking accounts and savings accounts to bigger investments like taking out a home loan. Whether you’re looking to begin your financial journey or improve your current situation, our friendly team of experts can help.

Contact Landmark National Bank or locate a bank branch near you today to get started!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *