It has become epidemic! Absentee owners of real property are the target of criminals who pose as the owner offering the home or property for sale or as collateral for a new loan. These imposters sell the property and abscond with the sale proceeds or strip any equity in the property with a new loan. The real property owner has no idea their property is the subject of a real estate transaction. Settlement agents can take steps to prevent this crime from happening by following the three steps contained in the below escrow guidelines.
The updated guideline contains information about ValueCheck, a recommended online data and analytic tool that provides detailed property data nationwide to verify:
- Property owner
- Owner mailing address
- Property maps
- Comparable sales
All of which can be used to detect and prevent the crime from occurring, saving the your company from potential risk. If the crime is detected, be sure to provide the property owner with the notice from the US Secret Service containing tips on how to prevent the crime from occurring again in the future.