Nice detailed answers below. I just want to add one more item to consider when setting up a trust to hold property for you. Banks typically do not allow you to take out a mortgage as a trustee when the benefactor of the property held is the trustor. You may be able to do this as an investor, but that would exclude you from many mortgage financing incentives only available to individual homebuyers. Remember, this is not meant as legal advice as only your lawyer or legal professional can properly advise you in these matters.
Jacobus "Jack" Vollenberg
RE Appraiser/RE Sales Associate
Vollenberg Appraisers/ERA Statewide Realty
Even if your number WAS listed, and then you switch it to an unlisted number, eventually, your name and number will drop out of the online directories.
You can also request that Google, Yahoo, MSN and the other big search engines delete your name, your address and your phone number from their public directories.
But removing your name, your property information, and other recorded documents from the Cook County Treasurer's website, the Cook County Assessor's website and the Cook County Recorder of Deeds website is more complicated.
If you knew up front that you wanted to protect your privacy and keep your personal information and financial details private, you would have set up a TRUST to take title to your real estate.
With your property held in TRUST on your behalf, no one would be able to tell that you owned a particular piece of real estate. They would not know how much you paid for it. They would not be able to see all the publicly recorded documents relating to your property.
All those documents would still be publicly available. But they would refer to the local bank where you established your Trust. None of the documents would refer to you. You'd be completely anonymous.
Here's the problem: You might have discovered that all this information about you is available already. If this is the case, then you can't undo what's already been done.
You COULD transfer your property into a TRUST now. But all the other documents that have your name on them in the public databases would still be there. Your name would still be searchable and still tell the tale of your assets and other business.
About the only way to make it all go away would be to sell your current property, set up a trust to use in the future, and go buy a new home under the Trust's protection. And even then, your personal information about your NEW home would be hidden, but the trail of publicly recorded information would still exist for your old homes.
There are some limitations and negatives to Trusts of this sort, so you should review this with your lawyer before diving in.
hope that helps!