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New Electronic Alerts on Oakland County Properties Could Prevent Loss and Fraud for Mortgage Lenders

Katherine “Kate” Tomasik is a senior attorney in the litigation department, dealing primarily with title curative litigation. She has been an attorney with Trott Law since 2005.  She can be reached at 248-341-4622 or ktomasik@trottlaw.com [1].

Oakland County, the second largest county in the State, has launched a free new online program designed to mitigate the mortgage and deed fraud. The system, called Property Records Notification, or PRN, will inform property owners of recorded activity against their property. PRN is an effort by Oakland County to combat mortgage and property fraud. The unveiling of PRN is the first of its kind in the country, according to Lisa Brown, the Oakland County Register of Deeds. Oakland County was the second in the country to launch Super Index in 2014, an online searchable database within millions of recorded documents maintained by the County.

This alert system could be a valuable resource for most property owners, or mortgagees, who might not check their property records on a regular basis, and thus unaware to threats of fraud. Users can sign up at www.ocmideeds.com/alerts [2], and will be notified of deeds, mortgages, liens, or anything recorded against their properties within Oakland County. This service might be especially useful for mortgage lenders with performing loans, where many of the liens or recorded activity might otherwise go unnoticed on these properties.

In addition to potential fraudulent activity, such as forged mortgage discharges, PRN alerts could be likewise useful for mortgage lenders in helping mitigate non-fraudulent property threats, such as unpaid tax forfeitures or association liens.  Left unpaid, these liens could lead to a tax sale or senior lien foreclosure which jeopardizes, and possibly extinguishes, the unwitting mortgage lender’s property rights. Signing up to PRN could allow mortgage lenders greater opportunity to preserve its interest when receiving immediate alerts of recorded activity on its Oakland County properties, and allow the mortgage lender an opportunity to advance funds to preserve its interest before it’s too late.