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A victim of property fraud, crying in front of a laptop.

The Ultimate Guide for Victims of Title Fraud


December 24, 2023

Becoming a victim of title fraud can be a devastating and disorienting experience for homeowners. Losing one's most significant asset, the discovery that someone has manipulated your property title without your knowledge or consent can send shockwaves through your life. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to take if you've become a victim of title fraud, helping you regain control of your property and navigate the legal and financial complexities that lie ahead.

What Is Title Fraud?


Title fraud, also known as property fraud, occurs when a fraudster manages to change the title of your property, making it appear as if they are the legitimate owner.


This can happen through various fraudulent tactics, such as forged signatures, fake documents, and identity theft.


Once the fraudster has control over the title, they can sell the property, take out mortgages against it, or legally transfer ownership to another party.



Realising You're a Victim


Discovering that you've fallen prey to title fraud can be a disheartening experience, but it is also the first step you need to take before trying to get back what’s rightfully yours.


Common indications of title fraud can include a variety of warning signs easy to miss.



Unfamiliar Transactions


Receiving notices of transactions related to your property that you didn't authorise or recognise, such as mortgage applications, sales agreements, or property transfers, is always a huge red flag you should never underestimate.


As time-consuming as it may be, consistently monitoring communications relating to one's own properties can prove crucial in evading fraud attempts.



Communication from Unknown Parties


If you start receiving correspondence from unknown individuals or entities claiming ownership or a vested interest in your property, fraudsters may already be well on their way to finalise their schemes.


Even seemingly legitimate mails and telephone calls can turn out to be dangerous traps by ill-intentioned individuals impersonating familiar institutions, such as banks.


Read here to know more about online scams like these.



Property Tax Notices


You may receive property tax notices related to an address or ownership that you do not recognise. If you find yourself in such a predicament, it is essential to readily act before everything start going downhill.



Inaccessible Property


You might find that you can't access your property or discover that it has been listed for sale without your consent. In such cases, fraudsters may have already sold your property to a third party, who acquired it in good faith and is thus not legally responsible for your loss.




Upon noticing any of these signs, it is crucial to act promptly and not underestimate the gravity of the situation.




Immediate Actions to Take


Becoming a victim of title fraud is a distressing experience, but it does not always represent an insurmountable challenge.


By taking immediate action, seeking legal guidance, and cooperating with law enforcement, you may be able to rectify the title fraud and reclaim ownership of your home.


1. Contact the Police: The first step is to report the fraud to your local law enforcement agency. Title fraud is a criminal act, and the police will initiate the related investigation.



2. Seek Legal Counsel: Secondly, consult with an attorney who specialises in real estate and property law. They can provide guidance on the legal steps to take to protect your interests.



3. Notify Your Lender: If you have a mortgage on your property, inform your lender about the fraud. They may also be able to provide advice or assistance.



4. Notify the Land Registry: Contact your local land registry office to report the fraudulent activity. While they may not be able to rectify the title, they can help preventing any further unauthorised transactions.



5. Obtain an Affidavit: Your attorney may advise you to sign an affidavit, a legally binding document that asserts your claim to the property and acknowledges the title fraud. This document can be used as evidence in legal proceedings.




Getting Your Home Back


Rectifying the title is a complex process that typically involves several steps. It is usually time-consuming and costly – as all legal proceedings – yet these steps are fundamental to begin retaking control of your property and your life.



1. Filing the Affidavit: Your attorney will help you prepare an affidavit of fraud, which is then submitted to the land registry office, explaining the fraudulent activities that have occurred.


2. Title Investigation: The land registry will investigate the property fraud, verifying the authenticity of documents and the ownership history.


3. Court Proceedings: Legal action may be required to establish your rightful ownership. This can involve litigation to remove any fraudulent transactions from the property title.


4. Issuance of Corrected Title: Once the legal proceedings are complete, if successful, the land registry will issue a corrected property title in your name, free from fraudulent claims.


5. Notifying Credit Bureaus: Notify credit bureaus about the title fraud and work to correct any damage to your credit score caused by the fraudulent activities.



Financial Ramifications of Title Fraud


Unfortunately, property fraud rarely takes place without causing dire financial consequences.


Apart from legal costs and the emotional toll imposed, the most worrying factors include mortgages taken on your property, leaving you responsible for the debt, and the negative impact your credit score may suffer in case financial transactions have been conducted using your property as collateral.


Plus, even if you manage to regain control of the property, the associated loss in value may leave you with a property significantly less appealing to the real estate market.



Prevent Frauds with Title Guardian


Property fraud is a serious issue, highly detrimental to both your financial and mental health.


This is why the best way to fight title fraud is to prevent it from happening. With Title Guardian, you can critically reduce the risk of falling victim to fraudsters.


By subscribing to our services, you will be able to register all the properties you own to our digital platform: Then, our suite of online monitoring instruments will turn into an invaluable shield against property fraud, quickly informing you on any suspicious activities taking place through instant notifications.


Discover our pricing options, learn how we do the magic, and stop worrying once and for all with Title Guardian.


It doesn’t matter whether you possess one property or a hundred: we will take care of everything for you.


Register Now