Free alert system offered for property owners
Property owners in Lee County now have the opportunity to sign up for a free service, which will alert them of potential property fraud.
Clerk Linda Doggett said with several software products offered by vendors, it allowed them to offer the service to property owners.
“We finally were able to do that in Lee County because we completed our system upgrade. We wanted to do it for a year or so,” she said. “Clerks around the state wanted to take advantage of this service. From our perspective it is a service that we can offer folks to at least make them aware of what is happening.”
To sign up for the Property Fraud Alert email notifications, property owners can visit www.LeeClerk.org/propertyfraud. The alert system emails notifications to those who subscribe within 48 hours whenever a lien, deed, mortgage, or other land record with their registered name has been recorded into the Clerk’s Official Records. Documents filed in court proceedings do not apply to this notification.
Doggett said it is a very simple process. She said all a property owner has to do is type in their name, the name that is associated with documents, with their email address.
“Register that name, email address and hit submit. They get a confirmation email,” Doggett said, adding that they can register for multiple spellings of names — first and last, first, middle initial, last — and if something is recorded with that name it will send an email alert. “Signing up for this service is really the key.”
She found herself in a situation where she had an individual filing liens against her and her husband. Doggett said it happened because an individual was in a foreclosure situation where systematic chaos was created around the foreclosure to keep it from going through.
Harassment against public officials involved in the case, judges and their spouses, attorneys on the case, as well as Doggett and her husband although she was not involved in the case, were made by filling liens against them.
“Although there was no valid reason to file a lien, it still was filed because it met the requirements,” she said.
The alert system will help in making property owners aware of what is happening, allowing them to get it resolved quicker and track down the perpetrator.
“Review your documents and make sure everything is in order,” Doggett said, adding that when something is recorded in public record it becomes a problem for the property owner.
Doggett said the property fraud alert service sparked a conversation with some real estate and title folks in the community in her office.
“The conversation was this was a great service to provide, but what else can we do. We are working together and throwing ideas around to come up with more preventative measures with the property fraud realm,” she said. “There are all kinds of ideas that can help the whole situation. We are really excited to work with the community. We think it’s a great conversation that we are having.”
Those who believe they have been a victim of property fraud are encouraged to call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 239-477-1000.