Updated: April 28, 2014 10:38AM
Imagine waking up one day to learn that you’ve lost your home, and it had nothing to do with a fire or burglary. It all started with a piece of paper and a devious criminal.
Most people are not aware that it’s easier to steal a house than a car. Enterprising thieves can go online, find information on properties and in a few minutes in Photoshop can create a fake deed and go to one of our offices to record it. When that fake document is filed, the fraudster owns the property until a judge rules the document fraudulent.
The fake documents these criminals bring to the Cook County recorder’s office look real, and because we are not authorized to validate legal claims, these documents must be accepted. That’s we have created the Property Fraud Alert.
By signing up for this free program, property owners are alerted by email or phone whenever a document is recorded against their property. If the filing is not legitimate, the owner can take immediate action to prevent damage.
To learn more about it and sign up, visit our website at http://cookrecorder.com/ or call (800) 728-3858.
Cook County Recorder of Deeds