Forged Deeds - Deed Scams in FL - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on March 20, 2011 at 21:44:24:

My take on this is that it is the Grantor who is not being truthful. Since there is prior history between the two parties, why would a grantee then forge a deed? Doesn’t make sense to me. Most of the forgeries that I am aware of, there is NO prior contact between the parties. The crook simply finds a property with delinquaint taxes and abandoned and knows the owner is unlikely to return to the scene and discover the fraud.

But back in the day… the way these crooks would make out was by reselling the property; cha-ching; big ticket sale for 60-70% of then a raging and inflated FMV. Maybe pocket 50K or more on vacant land. A darned sight better than holding up a bank, wouldn’t you agree…?

Today, most of these plays must be for cash flow; equity skimming plays. Can’t see it much any other way, really, since resales are in the tank and if there is a mtg it is not likely that the property would sell for the payoff in 99 out of a 100 cases… well, make 100/100. I also think that some of the forgeries that were done years back are just now surfacing too. It will all wash out in a foreclosure; they all get named and the title gets cleansed. Short of that, if the owner resurfaces and has resources and equity to be motivated to salvage the property then it is a QTA suit unless the party who forged the deed is willing to convey their interest… also not likely since that is an admission of guilt for the most part… unless they were the Grantee from the crook, which was the scenario that I painted in the former thread.

Forged Deeds - Deed Scams in FL - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on March 19, 2011 at 08:44:13:

We recently had discussion in another thread about the existence of a growing number of forged deeds of vacant properties in FL. It is the new Bank robbery w/o the need for a gun.

Just ran across this article in the Palm Beach Post on this very subject… it says in part:

“It’s terrible when someone steals your identity, but imagine what it’s like when someone steals your home,” Bock said. “Some of this isn’t just isolated incidents, it’s literally criminals with the intent to defraud.”

It can be an expensive muddle for the true home­owner who may have to spend thousands of dollars and months in court to confirm ownership of the property and obtain an eviction."

Did you get that part BillH… about expensive and time consuming for the former owner to confirm ownership…?

The link to the entire article:

Re: Forged Deeds - Deed Scams in FL - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by Kristine-CA on March 19, 2011 at 22:48:42:

Man, I wished you hadn’t posted this article. This is the kind of RE
media coverage that drives me crazy. Just enough information to make
it sound like a real problem, but not enough details to make the story
make total sense. The RE reporter can’t/doesn’t know enough to ask
and answer the important, relevant questions, IMO.

For one, the FL notary states absolutely no knowledge or meeting of
the grantor who signed the deed. But it’s his notary seal that’s on the
deed. So, like, his stamp/seal just went missing? and for how long? In
CA, notary services are noted in the notary log…with a fingerprint
required for deeds. How did this notary’s stamp and signature get on
this deed…and what does he have to say about it.

Also, the grantee/squatter says that she had an agreement with the
owners to buy their property subject-2. The owners say they didn’t
have an agreement with her. But the article doesn’t ask or answer any
questions about this. Did the owners ever meet her or hear of her?
Hear from her via email? Talk to her about renting or taking the
property subject-2? Did they take the 2K that the grantee says she
“offered” them.?

The case will disappear from the media, as the property will go to
foreclosure, sell via short sale and/or there will be some kind of
settlement. But now it’s on my radar, as I want to know what really
happened and if there was really fraud or if there was really a forged
deed. Just what I need, another property on my radar. :slight_smile:

I agree with your point that a fraudulent or forged deed is a costly
problem for an owner. The title problem doesn’t go away by just
insisting that you didn’t sign the deed or never heard of the grantee.

Deed Scams in FL - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on March 20, 2011 at 24:39:22:

This case may have been a great case to write about, from the reporters view point, but with the added detail and your knowledge of subject 2… well it wasn’t such a good one for you. No idea if the details on the other cases match this one, but the point being is there are hundreds or thousands of forged deeds recorded in FL due to all the absentee owners of properties.

As to the Notarty Stamp… that is an easy one. You can go to recorders site and pull up deed after deed, most all have a rubber stamp variety of Notary stamp, which lists the Notary’s number and they fill in their expiration date and spelling of their name. Also a copy of their signature too. So the crook simply has a rubber stamp made that is exactly like the Notary’s stamp… and with a little practice the exact signature can show up on that deed too. Done, a legit looking notarized deed. No finger prints required, at least the last docs I executed in FL didn’t use that method. The only source of identification is to now have the Witness’s on the Deed actually have to PRINT their name legibly under their signature… that was the latest big change that I am aware of… but it sounds like changes are needed, and coming soon.

The next court date of this case is in April, so put that on your calendar and you should be able to track the action online… Palm Beach County, FL. Hearing set for Apr 14 th, so check back soon thereafter for added details to this case.

Re: Deed Scams in FL - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by Kristine-CA on March 20, 2011 at 11:15:40:

You should have written the article. :slight_smile: You would not leave important,
obvious questions unanswered. I know that vacant property and
properties in foreclosure limbo are ripe for fraud. But the part about
the grantee saying that she had an agreement with the owners, and the
grantors saying they didn’t have an agreement…but not saying that
they didn’t know her…well, it sounds a little more complicated. Or
maybe the reporter just left out some facts.

Thanks for the info regarding FL notary stamps. I know anything can
be forged and anyone can buy a stamp, but I didn’t realize that the FL
stamp was so simple to recreate. I’ve seen fraudulent deeds here in
CA, but they were executed with the aid of the notary. The notary
agrees to notarize without proper ID or agrees to notarize without all
parties present. It’s become more difficult for people to find notaries to
help people to do this since the finger print is now required on RE
related deeds.

The more important issue for everyone will be how an owner can clear
up title when this happens. Title companies can’t ignore the deeds and
recorders can’t change anything. Owners will face court costs to
resolve title. Yuk.

Reading between the lines… - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on March 20, 2011 at 17:42:41:

It does seem that there is/was some prior agreement, or lack thereof, between the grantor and grantee… The grantee had better hope that she has docs to support her position or it could get messy for her.

In another lawsuit involving the grantor both he and the Grantee of this property had appeared pro se and entered affidavits in support of grantors position… so there was certainly some connection then, prior to the conveyance. This all does seem suspect but do not be sidetracked by the relationship in this case as that is not the important issue.

The fact remains that the fraud in deeds of empty properties are a problem throughout FL and this article happened to (poorly) illustrate the point I was making in the thread last week.

Re: Reading between the lines… - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by Kristine-CA on March 20, 2011 at 20:00:51:

I am not side-tracked from the bigger issue. I just get curious about
the specifics when one party says we have an agreement and other
party says we don’t. Could be that grantee is lying through her teeth.
Could be that both parties aren’t telling the whole story. It will be
interesting to see if anything happens on this.

I’m curious about how and when the fraudulent deeds are usually
showing up in FL. If someone “takes over” a property by a fraudulent
deed, all is well and good until a foreclosure or attempted refinance or
sale by the owner. In the case of a foreclosure, the owner is no longer
on title. In the case of a refinance or sale, title and escrow would bring
it to the owner’s attention, right? How does it play out I wonder.

On the part of the parties taking over and executing fraudulent deeds,
is it just a cash flow play? Renting out property until the ax falls?