Home Title Lock is not a scam. It is a service that says it will monitor your home's deed to prevent title fraud for a fee of $15 per month. But, you can protect yourself free by periodically checking your property record on the website of your county's register of deeds. You can do this looking out for deeds that you or your attorney didn't prepare or sign, or loans you didn't take out, as well as liens of contractors, subcontractors, real estate brokers, or attorneys whose services you didn't hire, or court filings.
Many counties now provide a consumer notification service. Register for free, and you'll quickly receive an email or text any time a document is recorded on your property.
The following clues will help you determine when title fraud has occurred:
- you stop receiving your water bill or property tax assessment or bill, for example. Utility bills on a vacant property rise suddenly, or you find people living there
- you stop receiving your tenants' rent payments and learn that they've been making the payments to another person and location
- you receive payment books or other information from a lender with whom you haven't done business
- you find yourself in default on a loan or notified of foreclosure proceedings
If you experience or find something amiss, notify the register of deeds and local law enforcement.
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