Why You Need Title Insurance

Do you own your home? (Well, do you and the bank own your home?) Have you been in it for awhile? Perhaps you thought that title insurance is something that you only buy at the time when you purchase your property. Well, you'd be wrong! Not only would you be wrong, you might be missing out on a critical insurance coverage, especially with the growing problem of identity theft.

Why do I say that? Well, I've been reading a lot lately on identity theft and mortgage scams. The combination is deadly.

If someone manages to collect enough personal information on you, they can do much more than just take out a couple of credit cards in your name. In fact, it's much easier to steal your home than get a credit card in your name. And they make more money at it!

Here's one of the scam artists (new) favourites: They discharge your current mortgage. Then, they take out a new mortgage -- a much bigger one -- and eat up whatever equity you have in your home. Then, they default on the new mortgage, leaving you to clean up the mess.

In some cases, I've heard that existing owners have even been held responsible for these fraudulently obtained mortgages.

You might think that such a crime would never target you. After all, you're just a middle class guy or gal, and you don't have that much money. Well, you'd be wrong there too. Some of these thieves work on volume of transactions as opposed to big money in a single property. That could make good old middle class you a great target in a series of transactions.

Here's something else to consider: if you are selling your home and have a "For Sale" sign on your lawn, you've just advertised yourself as a target! A typical MLS listing is a great source of information on your property, and if the identity thief has managed to get a bit of personal information on you, they are off to the races. (I can tell you that I'll never have a For Sale sign on my property again.)

Don't take chances. Get title insurance now if you don't have it. It will help you protect your most valuable asset -- your home -- and ensure that someone else can't take it from you.

MLA

2 comments
Posted by editor@insuranceguide101.com on July 7,2006 at 1:16 PM
I'm not big on useless insurance either -- read my comments on credit card insurance, and you'll see what I mean! However, the issue of identity theft and mortgage scams has me genuinely alarmed. This is a growing area of crime now worth many millions a year -- and that's just what is reported! I happen to actually know a couple of people in my circle of friends who have been subject to the hassles of credit cards taken out in their names because someone was "dumpster diving" and got enough personal info in order to be able to do that. After your identity has bee ripped off, it's not easy to resolve!

Further, the elderly make great targets with all scam artists, if not the first targets. If people are willing to invest a few hundred dollars (which is the usual fee) in title insurance, and from $20-30 in a paper shredder, they can save themselves a lot of potential hassle down the road.

To me, it's like locking your car doors when you park it. You don't expect someone to steal your car, but you aren't going to make it easy for them either.

MLA
Posted by Bobby on July 6,2006 at 2:38 PM
I don't appriciate the fear mongering you are doing with this article. There is so much in the news about identity theaft these days that is designed to scare old ladies so big corporations can sell them unless insurance and paper shredders.

Shame on you!
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