Home title theft: how to protect yourself
How to protect yourself against title fraud
Fortunately, there are many ways to protect yourself against title fraud. Remember that thieves are looking for easy targets. If you are vigilant, thieves will either avoid you or get caught in the act. The first step in protecting yourself is to be aware. Continue to educate yourself with the following tips:
Keep an eye out for missing invoices
When normal bills start to disappear or change randomly, your deed status may be in jeopardy. If you noticed that you never received an invoice or that an automatic withdrawal never occurs, contact the company immediately. It could be a little mistake or something is wrong.
Either way, you could save yourself a headache by following up. If you miss these bills, you could also miss foreclosure notices. It would put you in a world of suffering all the way.
Monitor your credit report
By regularly looking at your credit report is good practice, regardless of title fraud. You need to be up to date with your payments and know that there are no fraudulent charges. Monitoring your credit report is an effective way to spot signs of title fraud.
You can sign up for a premium credit monitoring service to allay your fears. These services offer many proactive credit protections. If you’ve been a victim of identity theft in the past or just want extra protection, consider paying for a credit monitoring service.
Make sure you have title insurance
A title company guarantees that the title to the property is free and clear. It protects against any claims or privileges made against the property. There are two types of title insurance: lender’s and owner’s.
The lender’s title is required by your mortgage company and guarantees that the title is authorized for sale. A homeowner’s title insurance policy is what protects you after you buy the property. It protects you in the event that any liens or claims are filed or discovered after the property becomes yours.
Title insurance is a one-time fee that is often included with closing costs when you buy your home. If you’ve opted for owner’s title insurance, you’re covered.
Sign up for title protection services
Title protection services – like Home Title Lock – have recently come under fire. Homeowners can check the status of their title / land registers on their own or sign up for a free county SMS consumer notification service. Since these services provide information that is already free and available, many saw it as not worth it.
This may be true if you have a homeowner’s title insurance policy that would protect you in this scenario. But if you opt out, a service that monitors your records 24/7 for $ 15 a month might be worth it. While other types of identity theft may be more prevalent, your home is probably your biggest investment.
Beware of crooks posing as title protection services. As more and more people seek to secure their titles, more and more scammers are taking advantage. Do your research and don’t make this decision on a whim. If someone emails or calls you asking to sign up for title protection, they might be trying to rip you off.