Wall Street Journal staffer Laura Kusisto digs into the world of deed fraud, and how it has affected so many residence in major cities. 

There has been nearly 30 related cases in Manhattan and since last fall, New York prosecutors have arrested four people on fraudulent cases.  Not only have home owners been affected, but investors have fallen victim to these crimes as well. Swindlers are using information to impersonate the owner and create fake deeds to give the property to new owners. 

This crime has always happened, but it’s been made much more prolific” by having records online, said Executive Assistant District Attorney 

 David Szuchman, chief of the investigation division in the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

“It impedes the process of the transfer of real estate” not to have property records readily available, said Annette Hill, assistant commissioner at the New York City Department of Finance. “It’s always been public information. It’s just now across the country it’s available online.”
Read more >