Mercer County Clerk Announces Property Fraud Alert Service

Mercer County Clerk Announces Property Fraud Alert Service

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The Mercer County Clerk’s Office is offering a new added layer of security when it comes to property protection. Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello announced today that her office will be offering a property alert service to provide property owners with e-mail alerts anytime that a document affecting a specific property is recorded by the Mercer County Clerk’s Office. Additionally, she added a hotline for residents to call if they feel they have been victimized by property fraud.

“Sadly, more people are recording fraudulent documents like fake deeds or fake liens against property owners”, said Sollami Covello. “In some instances, fraud on real property may not be discovered until the owners seek to sell the house.”  To address these concerns and protect one of the most important assets a person has, the Mercer County Clerk’s office now offers this free service that immediately notifies you by email whenever a document is recorded on your address in the County Clerk’s Office, she further explained.

Property owners can sign up now for the free service by visiting www.mercercounty.org and clicking on the Property Alert icon to access the Property Alert Service page. The system will actually start its alerts on November 1, 2016.

“It’s as simple as registering your name or business name and your email address and you will be automatically notified electronically if a document is recorded with your name,” Sollami Covello said.

If someone finds out they have been victimized, the County Clerk’s Office will provide a hotline so that callers may reach out for assistance and a list of resources available to them. The phone number is 609-989-6470.

Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes and Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson lauded the new service and the hotline as needed tools in their press conference earlier today to help combat growing property fraud schemes.

“This alert system is an important service that can be accessed by our homeowners and business owners throughout the County,” said Hughes, who oversees Mercer County and its Office of Technology Information.  Mayor Jackson added, “Any tools that can help protect our City residents from fraud are useful and beneficial to our property owners. The hotline will be a great resource for people to turn to in the event they have been victimized.”

Thousands of documents are recorded annually at the Mercer County Clerk’s office. Of the 58,078 documents recorded in 2015, 8,070 were deeds and 10,382 were mortgages.

“While this service can’t prevent fraud, it’s important to be notified early that someone may be trying to steal your property without your knowledge,” said Sollami Covello.

She added that the only time recordings can be refused is when statutory guidelines are not met.

“As long as a document meets statutory recording guidelines, New Jersey law requires the Clerk’s Office to record the document,” she said. “I am pleased we can offer this new program to help our constituents detect information that may be fraudulent.”

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