State Rep. Michelle Mussman, a Democrat from Schaumburg, is encouraging all property owners to register with the Cook County Land Records office in order to protect their personal or business property from property and mortgage fraud. For example a homeowner might return from a trip to find a forged deed of ownership had been filed on the house and a new family is now living there.
"I encourage all property owners to register for the free notification service available through the County Land Records office," said Mussman. "Crimes of this nature are the fastest growing white collar crimes in the nation. In response to this spike in crimes, the Cook County Land Records office has made it easy for property owners to defend themselves against fraud."
The impact of property and mortgage fraud can be devastating. Once a fraudulent document is filed, differentiating the real ownership document from the fake one can be expensive and time consuming, often requiring victims to hire lawyers and pay court fees.
"This free and easy step can prevent a long and expensive disaster down the road," said Mussman. "Fraudulent documents are often well-made and difficult to identify. This program calls attention to the fake documents before they are mixed up with the authentic ones."
Registration is available online at www.cookcountypropertyfraudalert.com or toll-free at (800) 728-3858.
Further assistance is available from Rep. Mussman's Constituent Service Office at 15 W. Weathersfield Way in Schaumburg or by phone at (847) 923-9104.
The Cook County Land Records office can also answer questions at (312) 603-5050.