Paid off your mortgage? Be careful — you’re at risk of title theft.

Homeowners may be thrilled when they finally pay off their mortgage, but the accomplishment comes with risks. Retirement Tip of the Week: Be vigilant in protecting your identity and assets, and be aware of how you could fall victim to various scams or theft associated with your home.

This warning from MarketWatch is great advice. 

We have even better advice – sign up for the Owner Alert program sponsored by our Property Appraiser Marty Kiar.  It alerts you is someone files a change of title to the deed to your property.  The alert is by email or text message.  And guess what – it is FREE. 

Go to their website, and register your property. 

Think it can’t happen to you – thieves have already tried this on our Galt Mile condos.  This is especially true for owners not in residence, not in the United States, or recently deceased. 

With title theft, thieves transfer a house deed from the rightful owner to another person’s name by using the owner’s personal information. Title theft could also take the form of using equity in a home, such as opening a home equity line of credit, known as a HELOC, according to Quicken Loans. When a house is unoccupied, thieves could go so far as to sell or rent out the property.

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