“Deed fraud” IS a thing. It is not widespread, but incidences appear to be growing. But what is it, and what can you do to protect yourself?
Recent reports focus on fraudulent documents filed with County Recorders (or similar offices in other states and jurisdictions). Thieves then resell the property, or borrow money against it — and vanish. Homeowners are surprised to learn that their property has been “sold.”
Of course, those transactions are fraudulent, and can usually be set aside. But if the property has been resold several times, it may be much more difficult to recover your home or other property.
Can you buy insurance to protect against this possibility? Not really — though some “title insurance” sellers profess to protect against deed fraud. What they really do is check your property records for you on a regular basis, and let you know if transactions are recorded. Quick action might help prevent greater losses from this particular kind of fraud.