Pass the word to those who need to hear it. Across the United States, official-looking letters are convincing homeowners to pay for documents to certify the obvious — that they own their homes. Homeowners who send payments in response to these letters are not receiving the documents for which they paid.
Those most likely to fall prey to this scheme are recent and first-time home buyers, and the older generation. New homeowners are swamped with paperwork and offers. They can mistake solicitations for legitimate bills. And older people may be impaired, or simply less able to do research on this type of activity. Some of the solicitations are addressed to the names of the living trusts of older homeowners. Survivors of recently deceased homeowners are getting the notices, too.
Some recipients might be startled by the letters, thinking that someone is attempting to steal their deeds. Others might simply pay the amount without much thought, because the total sum requested is under $100.
If you ever question the validity of this type of correspondence, please feel free to reach out to our office.
Tell those you know about these notices. Don’t pay them. Consider reporting them to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP or using the reporting tool on the FTC website.