The Cook County Recorder of Deeds is officially asking a company operating under the name “Home Title Lock” to cease and desist from using the name of the Office of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds to sell a fraud monitoring service that the Recorder's office offers for free.
In a recent interview, a representative from the company acknowledged that CCRD already has a free program, but falsely claimed it only covers Chicago. The CCRD’s Free Fraud Alert covers Chicago and the entirety of Cook County, and in fact, many collar counties to Cook also offer similar Free Fraud Alert Programs.
Under the property laws and open recording system of Illinois, homeowners are not able to “lock” or “freeze” the title of their home. Naming a service after a protection feature that is not even available does a disservice to homeowners by perpetuating a false sense of security.
“I’ve been very clear in making sure homeowners know that they cannot lock their home titles, but that they can get 24/7 monitoring and alerts for free through CCRD’s Free Property Fraud Alert Program,” said Karen Yarbrough, Cook County Recorder of Deeds. “Helping homeowners is about empowering them with accurate information so they can protect their most vital asset. Confusing them to sell a product is wrong.”
More information on CCRD’s Free Property Fraud Alert can be found at the Recorder of Deeds website, including a quick and easy online registration form.