12
Dec 2017
Fraud caught during a Title Examination
By admin

You buy a car. You buy auto insurance. Then when you accidentally back into that fire hydrant (because you couldn’t see it in the rearview mirror). The insurance company will reimburse you for repairs. But wouldn’t it have been awesome if you could have known BEFORE you bought the car that you were going to hit that hydrant? Well that’s just silly. I mean, who can know what’s going to happen in the future? Actually, a highly-experienced title insurance company such as World Wide Land Transfer may just be able to see those dangers lurking up ahead…or behind.

A Suspicious Property Sale

We recently were asked to insure a property sale where the owner claimed title to the property by a Quitclaim Deed from the Executor of a dead owner’s estate. The Executor and the buyer had the same last name which was different from the dead owner. In and of itself, not necessarily fishy. But the dead owner lived in Ohio, the buyer was in Ohio, the executor lived in Pennsylvania, the property was in Pennsylvania, the deed was not prepared by an attorney or a title company, nor did the deed contain any information explaining the relationship of the parties or the right of the buyer to inherit. It was a Quitclaim deed which provided no warranties whatsoever on behalf of the seller. No mention of the dead person or her executor was found online. But wait! There’s more! An online search of the buyer/owner revealed that said person (or someone who shared their very-unusual name….) was involved in fraudulent real estate transactions a few years ago in a different state. Hmmm, this certainly got the spidey-sense tingling.

Meet Mr. Fraudster

So we, as a diligent and meticulous team, reached out to the client requesting more information on the owner/seller. Perhaps just his identification so that we’d be able to confirm he was the earlier fraudster or rule him out entirely. And it just so happens that Mr. owner/seller is currently a resident of the Tennessee Department of Corrections. And this tells us what, exactly?

All of this due diligence, investigation, asking of questions and research tells us that it is more likely than not that owner/seller became the owner of this property by irregular or illegal means. And if you bought this property from Mr. Fraudster, and we insured you, then you’d be making a claim to our title insurance carrier when the dead owner’s little niece, twice-removed, showed up at your front door saying she owns the property, not you.

You see, we may not actually predict the future, but by looking at the past and present, we can confidently help you avoid backing into fire hydrants or facing off with little nieces in the future. Buy without engaging the services of World Wide Land Transfer, and the next professional you’ll be hiring is an attorney.

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