Get Immediate Notification of Changes to Your Title
We see an alarming number of real-estate fraud cases every year. If anything, this trend is increasing. As of the date I write this, we have no less than four cases in our office where a home owner’s name was forged on a deed.
The basic idea behind the scam: someone forges your name on a deed and transfer documents. They forge a notary’s stamp and signature. They file the fraudulent deed and take out a mortgage, or simply re-sell your property to an unsuspecting third person.
All this can happen in a matter of days, without you ever knowing about it until it is too late.
There is a way to protect yourself, and it is completely free.
You can sign up with the City Department of Finance to receive immediate e-mail notification any time a deed, mortgage or other legal document concerning your title is filed with the City. Here is how you do it:
· Go to www.nyc.gov/finance or www.nyc.gov/acris.
· Click on the “Recorded Document Notification” link.
· Fill in your property address (or block and lot ID if you have it).
· Provide an email where notices can be sent.
· Do this separately for each property you own if there is more than one.
That’s all there is to it. If you prefer, you can also register by submitting a written “Notice by Mail of Recorded Document” application, which you can get at the websites shown above, or by calling 311.
Once you complete your registration, you will be notified any time any document affecting your legal title gets recorded. This includes not only adverse deeds and mortgages, but court orders, judgments and powers of attorney – among other things.
If you receive notice of a document being recorded against your property’s records, you must act immediately to protect yourself. Go to the website www.nyc.gov/acris and click on “Search Property Records”. Enter your property’s borough, block and lot ID and check the list of documents shown. If there is anything there that you do not recognize, seek legal advice immediately.
If you don’t have access to a computer, you can check your property records at any office of the City Register. Here are the locations in all five boroughs:
· Brooklyn (Kings County): 210 Joralemon Street, Room 2, Brooklyn NY 11201
· Queens: 144-06 94th Avenue, Jamaica NY 11435
· Manhattan (New York County): 66 John Street, 13th Floor, NY NY 10038
· Bronx: 3030 Third Avenue, Room 280, Bronx NY 10455
· Staten Island (Richmond County): 130 Stuyvesant Place, S.I. NY 10301
For more information, call, visit our office and website.
Levy & Nau P.C.
854 Fulton Street, Brooklyn NY 11238