Data Trace Initiates Recording Notification Service to Homeowners in Riverside County, Calif.

September 15, 2011

Data Trace Information Services LLC, a provider of data services to the settlement services industry, announced that it has reached an agreement with the County of Riverside, Calif., to initiate a recording notification service as part of a county-wide real estate fraud detection program. The program is part of an effort to prevent property from being sold or refinanced fraudulently without an owner’s knowledge.

Through the program, homeowners are automatically issued a courtesy notice by the Riverside County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder’s office after a deed or similar instrument affecting property ownership is recorded. Property owners are also provided with instructions on how to notify the Riverside County District Attorney real estate fraud unit if fraud is suspected.

California state law currently requires that an original document be mailed to the address on the document after it is recorded. However, the property owner's address is not always listed as the mailing address. The new notice will be mailed to property owners regardless of the address on the document. By leveraging its geographically indexed title plants, Data Trace is able to provide the appropriate data to quickly notify rightful homeowners that a transaction has occurred involving their property.

“As a curator of property data, partnering with government agencies in the fight against fraudulent real estate transactions is a natural fit,” said Robert Karraa, president of Data Trace. “Our service allows a county clerk-recorder’s office to alert property owners of significant and potentially unknown transactions attached to their real estate.”

While these courtesy notices do not directly prevent real estate fraud, they are designed to empower individual homeowners to initiate an immediate investigation. In the fiscal year of 2010, financial institutions filed over 70,000 Suspicious Activity Reports relating to mortgage fraud, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the 2010 Mortgage Fraud Report Year in Review. The new notices can help homeowners detect fraudulent activity so that they can notify law enforcement agencies and financial institutions quickly, allowing those organizations to investigate the situations in a timely manner.

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