Consumer Alert: Forged & Fraudulent Deeds in Travis County
The Travis Central Appraisal District has been made aware that individuals may be filing forged or fraudulent deeds with the Travis County Clerk’s office in an attempt to claim ownership of a property. The information below may be useful in helping property owners manage the issues associated with these filings.
The Travis County Clerk’s office is the official recorder of property ownership records in Travis County.
TCAD’s property search database should not be considered an official record of ownership. Our database is considered a work in progress for the current year and is maintained to assign property tax liability only. We update our database based on records that have been accepted and provided by the County Clerk.
Property owners who believe they have been targeted by a forged or fraudulent deed should contact an attorney and local law enforcement.
Changes to TCAD’s database should not be considered a legal resolution to disputes over the ownership of a property. Property owners should work with an attorney and local law enforcement to ensure that legal issues have been addressed and resolved. TCAD will accept and update our records using information from a deed or a Judicial Finding of Fact regarding a filed deed. Examples of these documents can be found on the Dallas County Clerk’s website.
The Travis County Tax Office calculates property tax bills and manages payments.
Once property tax bills are available for the year, property owners can use the Travis County Tax Office website to view the bill associated with their property, make online payments, and ensure that their property’s account is in good standing.
Property owners who are concerned about this issue may want to sign up with a title monitoring service.
More than 40 County Clerk’s offices in Texas offer free monitoring services for property owners. Currently, that system is not offered by Travis County. Concerned property owners may want to pursue their own title monitoring service to alert them when a forged or fraudulent deed is filed. While these services cannot prevent a deed from being filed on a property, they can alert property owners to take action to resolve the matter quickly.