Hertford Co. invests in Property Fraud Alert program

Published 4:17 pm Tuesday, January 30, 2024

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WINTON – With real estate fraud on the rise, Melanie Storey decided it was time to protect the property owners in Hertford County.

Storey, the county’s veteran Register of Deeds, went before the Hertford Commissioners in November of last year to see if they would approve investing $4,000 into an early warning program in an effort to prevent property deed fraud.

“The way the world is today with an alarming increase in the number of mortgage fraud and identity theft crimes, this type of protection is needed in Hertford County,” Storey said. “This is a worthwhile program that our citizens need to take advantage of.”

And the good news is there is no cost incurred by local property owners to register for the program.

“It doesn’t cost the property owner anything. All they have to do is visit our website (www.hertfordrod.net) to sign up,” Storey noted.

Property Fraud Alert is an online subscription service offered to the public that allows them to have their name monitored within the Register of Deeds office of their home county (or any county where they own property – as long as that county is participating in the fraud alert program).

Upon registering, the property owner must select one method of notification: an email, text message, or voice call.

You may enter as many personal, business, and trust names necessary. You may also monitor multiple names and use the same contact method (e-mail address or phone number) for each.

“It will only take a few minutes to sign up and our hope is that it provides you with timely information and peace of mind,” Storey stated. “Tell your family and friends to sign up for the Hertford County Property Fraud Alert system too. Real Estate records are available for free on our website or, for a small fee, can be printed in our office.”

Storey added that she and her staff use a checklist when deeds are recorded.

“But we don’t perform title searches. That’s why we always recommend to hire an attorney to do those things when property deeds are transacted,” Storey stressed.

She added that the county commissioners have approved her request for the Property Fraud Alert program to be installed in the Register of Deeds office.

“The $4,000 is a one-time fee that our county pays for the service. That money comes from the recording fees paid to our office and we use those funds from time to time for special projects such as this,” Storey said.

For further information, Storey said to contact her office at 252-358-7850.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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