By Karla Prudhomme
According to the FBI, Identity Theft has increased exponentially. When identity theft occurs, thieves can then forge your name on a deed, file the deed at the county records office, take title to your home, and steal your property- this is known as Title Theft or Deed Theft. Domestically, Title or Deed theft rose 25 percent from 2017 to 2019, validating homeowners’ fears concerning this growing threat.
When there is a mortgage on the home without much equity built up, this lowers the risk of thieves targeting the homeowner. However, it does not mean that these homeowners are at no risk for title theft.
According to the FBI, fraudsters tend to target elderly homeowners, investment property or absent homeowners, and homeowners with a large amount of equity in their property, as the scammers, can change ownership of the home, allowing them to take a loan out using the property and the homes’ equity as collateral.
“With all the scams going on today, I wanted to have something in place to help protect the citizens of Johnson County,” said Johnson County Register of Deeds, Freida Gwinn. The Property Fraud Alert Service offers instant notification of filed documents, around-the-clock monitoring, and monitoring of multiple names. “I hope everyone will take advantage of this FREE service and know that they will be notified by email if anything is filed in their name.”
The sign up is simple stated Mrs. Gwinn, as you just need to follow these simple steps: Go to johnsoncounty.tn.gov., click on ‘County Government,’ scroll down to ‘Register of Deeds,’ click on the link to sign up, accept the terms at the bottom of the page, fill out your information as prompted, and click ‘Submit.’ You can submit multiple names but need to enter them individually. Once sign-up is complete, you will receive email alerts any time a document is recorded with the name(s) submitted.
For additional information about the Property Fraud Alert Service, please contact the Johnson County Register of Deeds office (423)