If you own real estate, be aware! In recent months, there has been an increase in the incidences of fraudulent real estate transfers by scammers who file fake deeds with the county, transferring title to themselves without the owner’s knowledge. To protect property owners, Cuyahoga County recently rolled out a new Property Alert System which notifies the owner whenever a filing has been made regarding their property. In order to receive alerts, property owners’ need only to sign up with Cuyahoga County on the county’s website. Signing up is free and you can receive alerts via email or text messaging.
It’s also important to note that these scammers often prey on vacant properties and properties with delinquent taxes so it’s a good idea to be sure your taxes are paid on time, reducing the likelihood that your property will be targeted. Cuyahoga County is also implementing new rules requiring taxes to be paid off before any transfers can occur, hopefully reducing the frequency of these fraudulent transfers.
If you own property in another county, check to see if there is a similar alert system in place. Otherwise, you may want to check the county records regularly to be sure your title is safe.
If you have any questions or comments about this article, please contact Michael L. Solomon, Esq., email@example.com.