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Real Estate Fraud Prevention - Courtesy Notification Program

San Bernardino County, CA
Program Year: 2019

When fraudulent real estate documents are recorded, it can take years before property owners realize they have been scammed. In some cases, statute of limitation laws may prevent them from doing anything to address and correct the illegal activity. To better protect San Bernardino County residents from real estate fraud, three departments joined forces and worked together to develop a proactive notification system. The Assessor-Recorder-Clerk (ARC), the District Attorney’s office and the Information Services Department created the Real Estate Fraud Prevention Courtesy Notification Program which alerts property owners of recent documents that have been recorded affecting their property. These documents include deeds of trust, grant deeds, foreclosures, and loan modifications. Upon the recording of a document, a letter describing the program and a copy of the first two pages are sent to the original title holder. This program empowers property owners to become more vigilant with their personal information and records. The courtesy notices are sent in a timely and cost effective manner that allows the property owner to verify a transaction on their property is accurate and not a form of fraud. Residents that receive the notice and are not aware of the transaction are urged to report it to the County of San Bernardino District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit. Beginning in 2017, these courtesy notification letters have been sent to over 147,000 property owners in San Bernardino County and have led to 24 investigations.

Mr. Daniel Sanchez
Media Specialist, Assessor-Recorder-Clerk