SD and SF City Lawyer Summons Company Providing Title Theft Services

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The San Diego and San Francisco city attorneys’ offices announced Monday that they have issued a subpoena seeking information from a company they allege makes false claims about threatening title theft, a concept they say the city lawyers, it is impossible in California.

startup title lock claims to provide services that protect homeowners from title theft, in which scammers are supposedly able to steal property from homeowners by recording fraudulent title documents.

City attorneys say the company targets older customers with misleading advertising and makes “alarming statements about the prevalence of fraudulently registered deeds.”

In a joint statement released Monday, city attorneys say fraudulently registered titles are void in California and fraudulent title recording is “rare and likely to be discovered quickly.” City attorneys also say the Home Title Lock service simply notifies homeowners when fraudulent deeds are recorded, rather than protecting homeowners through preventative measures.

“Home Title Lock targets and takes advantage of senior Californians whose homes are their primary source of financial security,” said San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott. “He convinces his customers that they will run out of money if they don’t invest in services they don’t need. Home Title Lock’s conduct is not only illegal; It’s inconceivable and cruel.”

Representatives for Home Title Lock did not respond to requests for comment on the announcement from city attorneys.

The joint statement does not indicate that Home Title Lock is being prosecuted or sued by the City Attorney’s Offices, but rather notes that the subpoenas are being issued as part of an investigation into possible violations of state law.

The subpoena seeks information dating back to 2019 regarding the company’s services, advertising, and documentation that support its claims.

San Francisco city attorney David Chiu called the company “a scam, plain and simple.”

Chiu said: “The company has fabricated a title theft crisis to scare elderly homeowners into buying a service that many local governments provide for free. Fake identity theft scares, such as those created by Home Title Lock, divert attention from important data security and privacy efforts. We are seeking more information to understand how many California homeowners may have been harmed by these misleading ads.”

–City news service

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