ePropertyWatch's Blog

Empowering Homeowners

You Have A Voice

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Customer feedback is the single most important input to product planning, and we want to make it as easy for you as possible to contribute to the development of ePropertyWatch. After reviewing the available options, we've determined that UserVoice will best serve our feedback tool needs.

With UserVoice, you have the ability to add your own suggestions about new features or fixes, or you can vote on - or add comments to - other customer's ideas. It's also a great way for the product team to post their own ideas and to have customers comment and vote on them.

Here's how it works:

  1. Every screen on the main ePropertyWatch has a little Feedback tab off to the left, like this:

    EPW Feedback

  2. Click the feedback tab and a small window will open, listing the top feedback items posted by other customers

  3. Click on any item, or the Go to our Feedback Forum link to see the details of any item, view the complete list of items, or to add your own ideas

    ePropertyWatch Feedback Forum

  4. To add your own idea, type it in the suggestion box. UserVoice will try to match your idea to an existing one that you can vote on. Don't see one like yours? Click Create New Idea and add your comments. Now other customers (and the product team) will see your idea and can add their own "user voice"!
Give it a try! Click here to go straight to the feedback forum.

100 Properties Stolen In Fort Worth, TX

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Federal prosecutors arrested a Fort Worth man on mail fraud charges related to a scam in which he allegedly stole more than 100 properties.

"According to the affidavit filed with the complaint, Norris ran a mail fraud scheme that involved filing fraudulent warranty deeds with the Tarrant County Clerk’s office to facilitate the theft of real property from rightful owners. The properties involved in the fraudulent warranty deed transfers were almost always vacant lots with unpaid back taxes due and/or with weed liens filed against them by the city of Fort Worth.

After identifying a property, Fisher would often file a forged warranty deed transferring the property to a fictitious buyer, forging the signature of the true property owner, and forging the signature and notary stamp affixed to the documents. After forging the deed, Fisher filed it with the Tarrant County Clerk’s Office and once it was on file, the clerk’s office would record it and mail the original file-stamped fraudulent warranty deeds to the name and address designated on the warranty deed."

It seems like more of these scams surface every day, serving as yet another reminder of the importance of services like ePropertyWatch.

Link to source

You Have A VoiceAARP Alerts Members To House Stealing Scam

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Recognizing that seniors are prime targets of house stealing fraudsters, the AARP recently issued a Scam Alert in their widely read AARP Bulletin.

"Armed with property records, crooks can then purchase $10 property transfer forms at any office supply store. The signatures of “sellers” are forged, and paperwork is filed with the city or county recorder’s office. In many states, deed recorders and those who oversee property closings are not required to authenticate the identities of buyers or sellers. Some crooks simply create fake IDs, stealing the real homeowner’s identity.

With a newly issued deed, stolen homes are sometimes sold, as in Bidwell’s case, for a fraction of their worth to cash-paying buyers (who are also scammed). But more often, hijacked homes are used as collateral to get new loans.

Lenders are more likely to issue new loans to homeowners with no existing mortgage. “The elderly are most often targeted because they usually don’t have a mortgage,” says Molly Butters of the Indiana Attorney General’s Office."

AARP recommends that members check their property records from time to time, follow-up on any suspicious loan documents or payment books from lenders you don't recognize, and to contact their local district attorney or state attorney general.

Link to source

Empire State Building Stolen!

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It was the ultimate challenge: how to steal a $2 billion dollar building in less than 90-minutes. Well, reporters from the New York Daily News found out just how easy it is to scam your way into stealing property right out from under the noses of the owners and with full cooperation of the city:

"The News swiped the 102-story Art Deco skyscraper by drawing up a batch of bogus documents, making a fake notary stamp and filing paperwork with the city to transfer the deed to the property.

Some of the information was laughable: Original "King Kong" star Fay Wray is listed as a witness and the notary shared a name with bank robber Willie Sutton.

The massive ripoff illustrates a gaping loophole in the city's system for recording deeds, mortgages and other transactions.

The loophole: The system - run by the office of the city register - doesn't require clerks to verify the information.

Less than 90 minutes after the bogus documents were submitted...the agency rubber-stamped the transfer from Empire State Land Associates to Nelots Properties LLC. Nelots is "stolen" spelled backward."

Too bad they didn't have ePropertyWatch.

Link to source
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