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6 Things Every Seller Should Know About Deeds, Titles & Title Fraud

If you have been thinking about selling your home, now is a great time to learn about the difference between a title and a deed to your home. It is also a good time to understand the dangers of title fraud and how to protect yourself for FREE against it. If you take the time to research this information now, it will help you avoid delays when it is time to sell your home or transfer it to your spouse or your loved ones upon your death.

  1. When you own real property, you will possess a deed and a title. The legal difference is important to know if you plan to transfer any interest in the property. Mixing the two up can cause problems. The title refers to the ownership rights you have to a property. A deed is the actual legal document that allows title to transfer from one person to the next. There are 6 types of deeds in the State of Ohio. Today we will discuss two of the common types of deeds to help avoid the hassles of probate.

  2. A JOINT & SURVIVORSHIP DEED is a deed conveying real estate to the names of two or more persons as joint tenants or the rights of survivorship. That means if one of the owner’s is deceased that individual’s interests in the property are automatically transferred to the living owner.

  3. A TRANSFER ON DEATH DESIGNATION AFFIDAVIT used to be called a TRANSFER ON DEATH DEED. This is another method for individuals to use to transfer ownership to a property upon death while avoiding probate. Some of these deeds are more common than others, however if you have not looked at the type of deed that you have, now may be a good time so that you can get your affairs in order before trying to sell your home.

  4. Home title fraud or deed fraud is a crime when someone fraudulently replaces your name on the title to your property with theirs. Home title fraud is becoming more common as information becomes more available about people online. There are three types of property owners and properties that are at a higher risk then a home with a mortgage still on it. These types of properties or property owners that are more vulnerable are properties that are vacant and not monitored, properties that are paid for, and elderly property owners that don’t know how to monitor their property title because monitoring is too difficult for them.

  5. YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST TITLE FRAUD FOR FREE! Have you heard about a company called Home Title Lock? This company will charge as much as $19.95 a month to monitor your title records that you can monitor for FREE. Please don’t sign up for this service because if you live in Lorain County this service is FREE!

  6. Mike Doran, the Lorain County Recorder provides this extra layer of protection for free. It is an alert system called Property Check and it will notify you against fraudulent filings against your property. If you are interested in creating a FREE account go to the Recorders search site and search for the link title FREE FRAUD ALERT. The site address is This system will allow you to create a FREE account and you can be notified by email or text anytime a document is recorded in your name.

Maybe you aren’t the most tech savvy senior? Call a friend or family member to help you set up your free fraud alert account. I will also be happy to help you set up your account for free. If you are thinking about selling your home, it is a great opportunity for us to talk about what your home maybe worth in today’s real estate market as well.

Jennifer Herron Underwood, is a Senior Real Estate Specialist with Howard Hanna. She has been a Realtor for the past 23 years and is a Lorain County Resident. She offers free Downsizing Consultations to help you start the downsizing process and help get a handle on the equity in your home as well as the process of moving. If you are interested in a FREE Downsizing Consultation or help setting up your FREE Fraud Alert Account with the county please call her at 440-371-2862.



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