If you are going to leave your $2 million home empty after your foreclosure, then there is a pretty good chance someone is going to try to move in. And with title and deed forgery on the rise, you may have some difficulty getting them out again, warn Raleigh, North Carolina police[1]. In the most recent case of “go-big or go-home” squatting, a man was arrested for filing a fake deed and paperwork with the county on a $2 million home. He claimed his company, “The International Fidelity Trust,” had transferred the home to him at no cost. He then resided in the home for seven months while the forgery and fraud were sorted out, enjoying six bedrooms, six bathrooms, theater and game rooms, a wine cellar, elevator and swimming pool. Police attempted to arrest the man in February but were dissuaded by the fake deed that showed him as trustee of the property.

The property, which is actually an REO owned by Bank of America and the New York Bank of Mellon, went into foreclosure last year[2].  The scam went on for so long because the Register of Deeds Office is required to file any and all submitted paperwork, even if they suspect it is false. This prolonged the period of time in which the man could present himself as a trustee of the property. “The statutes require us to record the deed even when we know it’s fraudulent,” explains Laura Riddick, Wake County’s register of deeds.” She added that she encourages employees to call security and/or the police if they suspect foul play. In this case, the deed included a forged signatures by a Bank of America employee and a South Carolina notary public.

Thank you for reading the Bryan Ellis Real Estate Letter!

Your comments and questions are welcomed below.



[1] http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2011/09/01/man-found-squatting-in-2-million-home

[2] http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/08/31/1449126/man-accused-of-being-a-squatter.html