One of Clerk Fernandez-Barquin's top priorities is informing and assisting the citizens of Miami-Dade County with concerns about property fraud. Prior to his appointment in June, 2023, Clerk Fernandez-Barquin, as State Representative, was one of the Co-Sponsors of HB 1419 and made effective, in pertinent part, on July 1, 2023, addressing property fraud head-on! These email alerts are in addition to the existing safeguards of mailed courtesy notices since 2005.
What is Property Fraud?
Property fraud occurs when an individual uses a forged document to sell, transfer or incumber property that does not belong to them. Forged documents may or may not affect the property, however, it may give the appearance to the rest of the world that the status or ownership of the property has been changed. If you believe you have been the victim of property fraud, removing this change from your title can be a complicated process.
When you receive a notification or become aware of:
- A Deed Fraud Courtesy Notice from our office;
- A recorded document on your property where you never signed the document and your signature was forged;
- A recorded document on your property where ownership of your property, or a portion thereof, was transferred or sold to another party without your knowledge;
- A recorded document on your property where the signer of the document was deceased at the time of execution of the document;
- A loan was taken out on your property without your knowledge; and
- Changes or alterations were made to a recorded document after you signed it.
Also, if you:
- Stop receiving your property tax bill or notices;
- Receive a Notice of Default or Notice of Trustee's Sale when you own your home outright (free and clear of a mortgage loan), or when you have a mortgage and you are not delinquent on your loan payments;
- Receive loan documents in the mail for a loan that was obtained without your knowledge;
- Receive real estate documents in the mail for a transaction on your property that was conducted without your knowledge; or
- If you receive a suspicious phone call, email or text regarding the status of your property or if you are directed to another website other than the Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts at www.miamidadeclerk.gov
The Miami-Dade Clerk of the Court and Comptroller suggests the below steps to assist if you believe you may have been a victim of property fraud:
- Report the Crime to the Appropriate Law Enforcement Agency
Deed forgery and property fraud is a criminal act. As such, IMMEDIATELY reach out to your local law enforcement agency to file a report.
- File a Complaint with the Circuit Court to Quiet Title Based on Fraudulent Conveyance (Fla. Stat. Sec. 65.091)
A Complaint to Quiet Title based upon a Fraudulent Conveyance is a civil lawsuit that will request the Court to declare the offending deed as fraudulent and having no legal effect. You will need to pay the applicable filing fees or file for indigency. Civil lawsuits may be complicated, and you may want to consider contacting an attorney to assist you. The Miami-Dade Bar Association can recommend qualified attorneys to assist you in this process. A civil lawsuit must be served upon all parties. In cases of fraud, it can sometimes be difficult to locate the fraudsters for service, and a court can allow service by publication in certain circumstances. Any final judgment quieting title should direct the Clerk to remove the fraudulent deed from the Official Record. The Clerk can provide a simplified form to assist you in filing a complaint to quiet title based on a fraudulent conveyance. Miami Dade Bar | To serve the public and the bar or by calling (305) 371-2220.
Quiet Title Complaint Form Forged Deed
Quite Title Complaint Form Forged Deed Instructions
Quiet Title Complaint Form Wild Deed
Quite Title Complaint Form Wild Deed Instructions
- Record a Lis Pendens in the Official Records of Miami-Dade County
A lis pendens puts the public on notice that there is a lawsuit involving the property, and helps prevent any subsequent sales or transfers of the property until the court resolves the dispute. The court case must be filed prior to recording the lis pendens.
- Contact the Property Appraiser and Tax Collector
A recorded deed can change the property owner’s address in the Property Appraisers' and Tax Collectors' systems. As a result, TRIM notices and property tax bills may be sent to a different address. Unpaid taxes can eventually result in the property being sold at Tax Deed Auction.
Miami-Dade Property Appraiser’s Deed Phone Number: (305) 375-4064
- Sign Up for Property Fraud Alert
If you have not already done so, sign up for Property Fraud Alert, a free service offered by your Miami-Dade Clerk of Court and Comptroller. The Property Fraud Alert notifies you within 24 hours of any documents filed which affect your property. While it cannot prevent a fraudulent deed from being filed, it can allow you to respond quickly to address any problems. The following is a link to register for that subscription. https://www2.miamidadeclerk.gov/recordingalert/
Subscribe to Our Property Fraud Alert
The Miami-Dade Clerk of Court and Comptroller offers property owners a free service to alert them of potential property fraud. Property Fraud Alert emails notifications within 24 hours to subscribers when a deed, mortgage or other land record with their registered name on it has been recorded into the county's Official Records.
If you receive an email notification from “Miami-Dade Clerk of Court and Comptroller Fraud Alert,” that a document has been recorded that matches a name you registered, you can review and verify the document.
- The alert will provide you with a document number, which is the Clerk's File Number or CFN
- To search online, click on the link Miami-Dade Official Records (miamidadeclerk.gov) to view the recorded document
If you dispute a lien that has been recorded against your property, contact the lien filer.