In response to a growing threat of property and mortgage fraud throughout the country, Burlington County Clerk Tim Tyler is taking action to provide a new service that will help protect residents from scams and identity theft. The Property Alert Service allows Burlington County property-owners in all 40 municipalities to have their name and real estate monitored in real time within the Clerk’s Office and be immediately alerted to any possible fraudulent activity, at no cost.
“The threat of mortgage fraud and identity theft crimes continue to rise, and all too often victims of these types of fraudulent activities are unaware their homes or identity have been stolen until it’s too late,” said County Clerk Tyler, who added that property and mortgage fraud is the fastest growing white-collar crime in the United States according to the FBI. “I am pleased we will soon offer a new Property Alert Service that will provide an early warning to any signs of potential scams and give our residents much needed peace of mind.”
The service is quick and easy to sign up for and can be completed online through the County website or www.propertyfraudalert.com in the coming weeks. Residents will be notified by email or phone whenever a document, such as a deed, lien, or mortgage, has been recorded with the Clerk’s Office that contains their name.
It is standard practice in New Jersey and other places throughout the country to properly record property records with the relevant county office. In just the last year alone, the Clerk’s Office processed almost 100,000 property records. Even though the office has made a concerted effort to be on the lookout for documents that may involve property or mortgage related fraud, it is difficult to monitor the millions of documents on file in the Clerk’s Office. Fraud can occur as simply as someone recording a forged document to make it appear that they are now the owner of a property.
“Remembering to regularly check your property records for fraud becomes harder and harder to do with our busy lives” added County Clerk Tyler, who said doing so is the best way for residents to protect themselves. “This service will act as a first layer of defense for our property-owners, while allowing out-of-state family members to monitor the homes of aging loved ones. If a warning system is not in place, it can be very difficult to catch a thief who may go undetected for years.”
County Clerk Tyler discussed the importance of the Property Alert Service during the Freeholder Board’s conference meeting this evening. The Board is expected to approve County Clerk Tyler’s request to offer the new service during its next public meeting on Wednesday, September 12, 2018.
The Burlington County Clerk’s Office is located at 50 Rancocas Road in Mount Holly and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, residents can call the Clerk’s Office at 609- 265-5122.