New Gregg County program can alert landowners to potential property theft

Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 12:32 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 8, 2022 at 7:43 PM CST
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Swindlers can potentially steal what is generally most valuable thing you own: your home and property. But there is some protection out there and it’s available through Gregg County’s website.

Gregg County Clerk Michelle Gilley says it’s possible for someone to lay claim to your property without you knowing anything about it.

“If someone files a fraudulent deed or a bogus deed in the recording department of the county clerk’s office, it’s a matter of public record that that property belongs to that person,” Gilley said.

She says it’s happened in Dallas County, although she’s unaware of a case in Gregg County. But the clerks look closely at titles and the grantor and grantee:

“Names, make sure signatures match the names on the documents are. And we’re also looking for a notary seal,” Gilley said.

Gilley says if everything looks legitimate the property can be sold while occupants are still in it. She found a program that can notify people if there is any paperwork filed on their property, legitimate or not.

“I went to commissioners court in August of 2021, and they approved my proposal of starting property fraud alert for Gregg County,” Gilley said.

And you don’t have to go to the courthouse to do it, just go to the Gregg County website and then:

“You’ll click on departments. Go to the County Clerks Office. Click on that department. Scroll down. Right here is property Fraud Alert,” Gilley said.

She says to hit continue, read and agree to terms, enter your name, choose how you want to be notified and hit save. No address needed, it’s all about the name. Gilley says notification happens with any deed paperwork filed, whether you did it or not, and if you didn’t, you need to notify the DA’s Office and maybe get an attorney.

It won’t stop the process, but at least you’ll know it’s happening. If you want to sign up for the free service or learn more click here.

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WEBXTRA: New Gregg County program can alert landowners to potential property theft