Title fraud occurs when a criminal is able to fraudulently claim the title of a home in order to acquire loans against it. This usually occurs when the criminal gains access to personal information, such as a social security number or bank account information, allowing them to claim to be the owner of the home. Even if you have paid off your mortgage, the ability to claim to be the title holder will allow the person to acquire money with your title as collateral. Understanding the warning signs and what to do in this situation will allow you to avoid this troubling occurrence. Here are three situations in which your home may be at risk and whether or not you require a home title lock.

Unpaid Bills

There are two primary ways in which your bills may alert you that someone may be attempting to claim to own the title to your home. The first is when you receive notice that you have an unpaid bill despite having paid it or have not received bills that you expect. There are certain bills that must be paid by a homeowner, such as a water bill or tax bill. If you pay for these bills regularly, you should never receive a notice that one has gone unpaid. A greater sign that there is a problem is if you receive a mortgage bill when your mortgage has been paid off. Companies keep this information up-to-date, so there is likely a serious problem if one of these situations occurs. If someone is attempting to claim your title, they will contact the taxing authority and have the address changed in an attempt to hide the crime and allow them to continue acquiring loans against your home.

Notice of Foreclosure

As with any other objects, once you’ve paid off your mortgage, the house is yours. A foreclosure occurs when someone is too far behind on their payments so the loaner acquires the home. If you’ve already paid off your mortgage, your house should never be foreclosed on. Receiving a notice of foreclosure when you’ve already paid off your mortgage means that someone has borrowed against your home illegally or someone is attempting to acquire personal information that will allow them to steal your identity.

Safe with Important Documents Inside

Activity at Unoccupied Home

Whether it’s your primary residence or a vacation home, you should always be aware if someone is there. If there is someone at a home you own, they could be attempting to steal your belongings or acquire personal information about you. Most people keep their personal information, such as a social security card, birth certificate, or bank account information, inside their home for when they need it. Someone looking to commit identity theft may break into your home in the hope of acquiring this information to commit title fraud. To avoid this situation, it’s a good idea to always know who is in your home and have an alarm or surveillance system installed to be notified if someone enters. You should also keep your personal information safely secured so that someone looking for it would be unable to obtain it.

Title fraud occurs when someone attempts to claim that they are the holder of the title of your home. This will allow them to borrow against your home, creating financial difficulties for you. These are some of the ways to tell that you may be in danger of title fraud and require home title lock.