How to protect against title fraud.
The past couple years, I've had more clients inquire about
With the significant amount of equity many of us have in our homes, there are often concerns about someone's ability to file some sort of deed to our property in order to fraudulently get a loan against it without our knowledge. Previously, there wasn't much one could do to protect against this unless you wanted to pay an outfit like "Home Title Lock" to notify you if there as any recorder activity regarding your property.
But, now the San Diego County Recorder's Office is offering Owner Alert free of charge for anyone with real property in San Diego County.
The Owner Alert system will instantly advise you if any document is recorded that affects any properties that you input into the Owner Alert system. This program has been established in conjunction with the District Attorney as a means of preventing real estate fraud. I have signed up for Owner Alert (it is very quick and there is no charge to sign up) and would urge you to do the same, especially if you own your property free and clear or have a substantial amount of equity in your property. In signing up for Owner Alert, I would suggest that you input into the system the Assessor's Parcel Number for each property you own in the County. If you input your name into the system, this may result in you getting notifications for instruments recorded by people whose name is the same as yours. (But, be aware that you do NOT want to put in the hyphens when you input your APN as that will lead to a response that your APN cannot be found). You can find your Assessor's Parcel Number near the top of any Grant Deed or Quitclaim Deed I prepared for you in conjunction with setting up your Trust paperwork. Please consider sharing this information with your friends and family members so that they too may sign up for Owner Alert and be protected too. I will be in touch soon with any other estate planning tips/tricks I find down the line.