Westcoe Realtors, Riverside Ca…Well…given human nature, we are back again with yet another way that a few nefarious individuals out there are trying to separate money from the honest people on our planet.
Today, we get to talk about one of the latest real estate schemes that seems to be making the circuit amongst the general public. The financial consequences of falling prey to this scam are not catastrophic, but we’re trying to do our best to eliminate even the minor irritations that could befall your real estate day.
Here’s how this latest scam works.
When you buy a home, sell a home, refinance a home, or sometimes simply change the manner in which you hold title to your home, there will be a title company involved. This title company will insure that any deed changes, loan changes, etc. are properly recorded, and that all parties are properly insured for whatever changes are being completed.
Once the transaction is finished, all pertinent documents for said transaction are recorded, which means that they are now public record. Public record means that anyone with a computer can see what changes were made, what you did, and what title company insured the transaction, or recorded the documents.
In the case of the “bad guy” scammers, they simply access your recently changed documents, find out what title company was involved in your transaction, and then they create a fake bill from said title company saying that there was an oversight in the closing, and that to insure that you have the proper title insurance, you still owe ____ amount of money to have your title insurance in effect.
Naturally, this is a bogus letter, but since the amount of money they area asking for is not too out of line (generally between $75-$295), many people pay the money. After all, who wouldn’t want to make sure their title insurance was in effect?
To set the record straight, while there certainly can be mistakes made in any transaction, if you ever receive a letter like this, simply pick up the phone and call whomever handled your closing to verify this demand for additional money. It is exceedingly rare that this type of mistake could ever happen, and your escrow company or settlement agent could set the record straight. We cannot imagine a scenario where a title company would contact a buyer/seller/homeowner directly and ask for more money…it just doesn’t happen in our industry.
So…we hope our little pubic service announcement today helps. No matter how much money is involved, it can ruin your day if some “bad guy” gets hold of your cash.
Take care, and as always, thanks for reading our blog page.