New York City recently launched an excellent program which allows homeowners or their designees to receive notification if a deed, mortgage, deed related document or mortgage related document is recorded against their real property without their knowledge. This program will allow homeowners to learn of possible mortgage scams or property scams very quickly, while there is still time to do something about them and limit the damage caused by these crimes. Click here to be directed to the New York City Department of Finance Notice of Recorded Document form where your can register. You will insert either your address or Block and Lot. You then type in your address, phone number and email address and request how you wish to be alerted, including by email, regular mail or text message. If you prefer, you can also register for this program by telephone by calling 311.
It is very important for you to know if someone has filed a mortgage or deed against your property without your knowledge or permission, especially due to the huge increase in real estate fraud, including fraudulent mortgage scams perpetrated against the elderly and immigrants in the last few years. A criminal can file a deed or mortgage with a forged signature and then sell your property, or obtain a mortgage against your property, without you having any idea that this has occurred. You might not learn of this crime for years until you go to sell or re-finance your property and learn that there is a mortgage recorded against your property that you have no knowledge of. There are actually cases where fraudulent deeds were filed and property transferred without the homeowner having any idea that they no longer owned their homes.
It takes five minutes to sign up for this program and it is well worth your time to do so. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced that he registered his Upper East Side Town House in this program.
If you have any questions about this program, or how to sign up for it, please feel free to call us and we will be happy to answer your questions and assist you.