Attorneys Title Fund Services LLC reports in the May 2014 issue of “The Fund Concept” that there is a spate of forged deeds on REO properties. These are foreclosed bank owned properties that have been sitting vacant for months or even years. The scheme is that the fraudster will forge a deed from the bank to himself. Then the fraudster will contract to sell the property at a bargain price.
Red Flags on the grantor’s deed:
Minimum documentary stamps on the fraudsters deed. Florida taxes deeds at $0.70 per $100 of sales price. This tax is printed on the deed with the recording information. If the tax paid is $0.70, then the sales price was $100 or less. In a real REO sale by a bank full documentary stamps would be paid.
The deed is handwritten.
The deed does not show the scrivener (person who prepared the deed) in the top left corner, or shows the grantee is the scrivener. A bank would never have the buyer prepare the deed.
The grantor bank is out of state, but the deed was notarized in Florida
Red Flags in your transaction:
There is no realtor.
The seller has no documentation of his purchase other than the recorded deed. i.e. no owner’s title insurance policy, no settlement statement, etc.
You are dealing with a middleman other than the record title holder.