Really fascinating article by Carole VanSickle of Brian Ellis newsletter... some guy has managed to steal 70 homes in Houston by forging deed records. And they've been in legal limbo for years. How does do they get away with it?
Real Estate Scam of the Day: Forged Deeds Lead to False Sales
If you have properties sitting vacant, be sure to check on them
regularly. Otherwise, you might swing by one day to a happy, well-tended
home with new locks and a new owner, particularly if you live in Harris
County in Texas. For at least six years, con artists have been
forging deeds to vacant properties in the area, delivering the deeds to
the local courthouse and then seizing and selling the properties. At
least 70 houses â€“ and probably more â€“ were affected by the scheme. Many
property owners have not been able to recover their properties.
Authorities are calling it â€œthe largest deed scam in Harris County
history,â€ and only one man has, as yet, been convicted despite $6
million in penalties and three years of civil litigation on the part of
the Texas attorney general. â€œMost of the houses are still in limbo,â€
says Nick Abaza, an attorney who represents many of the victims of the
scam. Furthermore, many of the buyers paid cash, which means they are
unlikely to ever recoup their losses.
is a huge mess for the Houston area with many victims involved on both
sides of each transaction. How do you think that the problem should be
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