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New fraud detection service helps with land contracts

WARREN — A new service can help people with land contracts ensure their investments aren’t being fraudulently loaded up with debt without their knowledge.

Land contracts are a non-traditional way of selling property through seller financing. The buyer is usually someone without access to a typical bank mortgage, or who is attempting to buy property a bank isn’t interested in backing.

Land contracts often have shorter terms than traditional mortgages and usually require a modest downpayment. But if the contract isn’t listed with the Trumbull County Recorder’s Office, the owner who holds the deed could add mortgages or not pay property taxes, which could lead to foreclosure.

The recorder’s office is now utilizing AlertMe, a program that residents can sign up for to receive email alerts about their property, notifying the user any time their name or business is listed on a recorded document and filed in the recorder’s office, county Recorder Tod Latell said.

“If a land contract buyer signs up for AlertMe, they would at least be notified that the land contract was recorded. That could give the buyer a little more peace of mind that it would be more difficult for the seller to borrow against the property without the buyer’s knowledge,” he said.

Many in land contracts don’t realize such a tool is available or know to ensure all land contracts for property purchases are recorded at the recorder’s office to protect their investment.

The service is free and people can register through the recorder’s website, www.recorder.co.trumbull.oh.us. People can call the Trumbull County Recorder’s office at 330-675-2401 with questions.

news@tribtoday.com

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