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Crime & Safety in 19139 : Real Estate Advice

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Sat May 31, 2008
Amina L. answered:
I was just browsing the site in the 19139 zip where I rent. I feel so bad for you. I will keep you in my prayers. Yes, do go to the Nutter administration. I heard on KYW-1060 recently that they are taking this issue on. Here is the story, you should contact Councilman Greenlee, City Hall Room 580:

Councilman Pushes Bill to Clamp Down On Property Theft


by KYW's Mike Dunn

A Philadelphia City Councilman is pushing a bill that he says could clamp down on property identity theft, a scam in which unsuspecting homeowners discover someone else has sold their home out from under them.

City Councilman Bill Greenlee (in photo above) says he's heard estimates of hundreds of properties being stolen in Philadelphia alone.

"I mean there are still multitudes of properties getting stolen."

So he's proposing a measure that he believes would clamp down on property identity theft by making the city's records department be more careful before signing off on the deed transfer:

"They'll have to do a lot more checking on the documents that they get in. That the proper names are on there. If its an estate, that there's documentation of that. Those kinds of things."

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Phila. City Councilman Hopes to Stop Property Identity Theft




by KYW's Mike Dunn

Philadelphia City Council may try to stop what’s called “Property Identity Theft” -- when homeowners discover someone has managed to claim control of their property.

Property identify theft happens when a scammer impersonates a homeowner (usually elderly), then signs a deed over to himself or takes out a mortgage on the victim’s property. City councilman-at-large Bill Greenlee:

“There have been hundreds if not thousands of instances over the years of people filing false deeds. Those properties are then re-sold, and it becomes a real legal mess for the actual, still-legitimate homeowner.”

Greenlee has introduced a bill aimed at stopping this. It requires the Records Department to immediately send out three notices for any deed transfer: by mail to the original owner, on the city’s web site, and in the newspaper. No such notice is now required. His bill goes to committee.



Some have complained that these kinds of checks will only slow down deed transfers, but Greenlee says they are sorely needed.
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