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Tips to Avoid Fraud

Property Owners

  • Check on your deed status with the Register of Deeds just as you check your credit. Make sure that no deeds have been filed on the property since you purchased it.
  • Safeguard your original deed, mortgage, and title paperwork. Keep them in a safe, dry place.
  • If you are away from the property, keep the lawn mowed, snow shoveled, and pick up newspapers and mail.
  • If you do not live near the property, pick someone you trust to occasionally drive by the property.

Property Buyers

  • Do your due diligence when purchasing a property: visit the property (inside and out), perform a title search, check whose name the taxes and utilities are in.
  • Check your real estate agent's license status on the State of Michigan website.
  • Always make copies and save copies of paperwork.
  • It is not a good idea to pay cash for a property. Reputable realtors prefer check/money orders, which are also possible to trace if a problem does occur later on.
  • Remember: if it's too good to be true, it's probably not true!

Notaries

  • Protect your notary stamp like you would a credit card.
  • Check your status on the State of Michigan website for duplicate stamps.
  • Notify the Register of Deeds Deed Fraud Task Force if your stamp has gone missing or has been stolen.