In an attempt to thwart mortgage scams, Oakland County, Mich., is the latest to allow the public to check documents like quitclaim and warranty deeds online, to make sure they haven’t been forged and illegally recorded.
Oakland County, which is just north of Detroit and includes upscale communities like Bloomfield Hills as well as more blue-collar cities like Pontiac, says senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to schemes in which scam artists borrow money against an unwitting victim’s home.
“The bad guy has moved into Oakland County,” County Clerk Ruth Johnson said Wednesday, the Detroit Free Press reported. Johnson said a Bloomfield Township woman was recently left with a $279,000 mortgage after her home was bought and sold from under her.
The online service will be available at http://www.oakgov.com/clerkrod or through http://www.landaccess.com/, which offers property records from nearly 50 counties in Michigan, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. It’s free to check for any activity on a homeowners’ property, but there is a $5 fee for more detailed searches and $1 for each document printed.