But it is your house!?

You have worked hard your whole life. You have paid off your house. Retirement looks comfortable and you are thinking of using some of your home equity to buy a second home. You go to the bank to apply for your loan and the loan officer cannot seem to confirm that you actually own your home. In addition, the tax records reveal someone else not only owns the home you’ve lived in for years but that they have taken out a large mortgage against the house. Suddenly, your net worth has dropped by thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands. So, could ID Theft Cost Your Your Home?…YES

Identity Theft…whether it is your social security number or other personally identifying information that is stolen, it is traumatic.  Personally, it was a huge concern when someone stole my identity and purchased 4 cell phones from a Best Buy in Washington state and set up AT&T service!  No, I do not have AT&T, I do not live in Washington and I do not have an account with Best Buy. This was an issue I had to take seriously BUT, what if it was my house they took or if they purchased another in my name?

While it is not as common as SS# scams and Tax ID-Fraud, it can occur and can be much more devastating than other types of identity theft for many reasons. 

How does it happen?

There a couple ways that mortgage identity fraud can happen:

  1. Identity Thief gains access to enough Personal Identifiable information to purchase a home in your name.  You find out when you eventually look on your credit report, usually when after the damage has been done and you are late on a mortgage you didn’t know existed in your name. 
  2. Even more painful is when the theft occurs in the home you already live in!  In this scenario, the thief obtains your information in order to transfer the deed to either themselves or a third party without your knowledge.  You move on, unknowingly, paying the mortgage for a house you technically do not own anymore.  The thief will then either try and sell the property as if it were theirs in order to get the buyer’s money.

There are many ways to protect yourself from identity theft.   Although, less common than other types of ID theft, it could cost you your home… So it is imperative to understand the risks, where you are vulnerable and to have a place to turn if your identity is stolen. Check out the links below to learn more about identity theft monitoring and restoration.

14 features of Identity Theft Protection Monitoring and the Most Important Feature!
ID Theft Increases Stress and Fatigue
What Do Identity Theft Protection Services Really Do?
14 features of Identity Theft Protection Monitoring and the Most Important Feature!

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