The Assessor-Recorder-Clerk, the District Attorney’s office and the Innovation and Technology Department created the Real Estate Fraud Prevention Courtesy Notification Program in 2017. The program, which received a NACO Achievement Award in 2019, alerts property owners of recent documents that have been recorded affecting their property. These documents include deeds of trust, grant deeds, foreclosures, and loan modifications.
Once a document is recorded, a letter is generated with a copy of the first two recorded pages and sent to the last person on the property’s file. If property owners receive the notice and are not aware of the transaction, they are urged to report it to the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit. It’s just a way to authenticate that a transaction that took place was indeed legitimate. When fraudulent documents are recorded, it can take years before property owners realize they have been scammed. By then, possible statute of limitation laws may prevent them from doing anything to address it. The courtesy notification letters quickly alert homeowners of possible fraud, which helps prosecutors become aware of these activities at a faster rate. To find out more information about the program, click here.