Criminals using deed fraud, identity theft to steal homes

Morgan Loew, Cody Lillich, Gilbert Zermeño and Gray News staff report:

Debi Gotlieb knew something was wrong when she could not find her late father’s home on the county assessor’s webpage.

The property was tied up in probate and should have been listed as owned by her father, Jerry Gotlieb, who died in March of 2018 at the age of 84.

“So, I put in his address, and it said that it belonged to Zillow. And it showed that it was on the market,” said Gotlieb, who is a real estate agent. “I went to MLS, and it was empty.”

All of her father’s possessions were gone. Gotlieb said she drove to the home, called the real estate agent who sold the house to Zillow, and called the police.

Read more at NewsChannel10

This type of crime may be more common than many of us might have realized and  the perpetrators of the fraud are often family members or friends of the victim. If you have an estate tied up in probate, you might want to check the probate court records to see who is listed as the owner or representative. Or do what the woman in this report did — check the county assessor’s page for your property and see what it shows as the owner.

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