South Florida Real Estate Fraud
Can someone you don’t know sell your home out from under you to another party? You might think such a situation is impossible, but for one South Florida woman, it’s a terrifying reality. Here’s what you should know about real estate deed fraud, how it can happen, and how to protect yourself.
Shirley Gibson was surprised when she came to find out that her property was listed for sale on Zillow and successfully purchased by an unsuspecting buyer for $230,000. A title company in Aventura, FL claims that it was scammed and now, Gibson’s home is illegally on the market again with a “Not For Sale” sign pinned to the front gate. While unlikely that Gibson would actually lose her home, she’s now embroiled in a costly legal battle that could last for months.
What Is Real Estate Deed Fraud?
Real estate deed fraud is a lesser-known form of identity theft. When someone steals your identity and forges your name on the deed to a home or other property, this is considered deed fraud, sometimes called property title theft. Often, deed fraud will occur after a homeowner has died.
Scammers will often scour the obituaries for homeowners who have passed on with residences that are vulnerable to deed theft. Vacation houses, abandoned houses, and empty houses are the most common targets of deed fraud, although scammers do still target houses that are in use, as in the case with Shirley Gibson. Scam artists may try to live in the home themselves or quickly sell it to someone else and pocket the cash.
When to Get the Help of An Experienced Florida Real Estate Litigation Lawyer
If you’ve been the victim of real estate deed fraud, there are legal options available to you to stop someone else from assuming ownership of your property. However, these cases can be complicated and require the help of a seasoned real estate litigation attorney.
At Mayersohn Law, we can assist you with understanding your rights and what legal avenues would be the most beneficial. We’ll go to bat for you in court if settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, and we’ll zealously advocate for a verdict in your favor.
Contact us today to learn more about real estate deed fraud or to schedule your appointment for an initial case consultation. Call now at 954-765-1900 or fill out or simple online form and we’ll get right back to you.