Deed Theft and Unsolicited Real Estate Solicitations

Deed theft occurs when a criminal impersonates a homeowner and sells or takes out a second mortgage on the homeowner’s property. In the worst-case scenario, the home goes into foreclosure and/or is deeded to a new purchaser. It is a complicated and expensive process to rectify, if it can be rectified at all. HB 1292 is new legislation signed by Governor Kemp to create greater safeguards. This new law creates a process, effective January 1, 2025, to validate a person’s identity when he or she files a deed.

The law also addresses predatory and unsolicited real estate purchase offers that often target older adults. As of May 2, 2024, solicitations of this nature must state that the offer may not be the fair market value of the property.

Specifically, if the solicitation includes a monetary offer, the following text is required in capital letters:  “THIS OFFER MAY OR MAY NOT BE THE FAIR MARKET VALUE OF THE PROPERTY.”  Further, if the solicitation includes a monetary offer that is less than the value of the previous year's assessed value for ad valorem taxation by the county tax assessor for the county in which the property is located, the following text is required in capital letters: “THIS OFFER IS LESS THAN THE COUNTY ASSESSED VALUE FOR THIS PROPERTY."

The bill also creates a private right for those individuals who believe they were deceived. This office will also be monitoring this area and will take appropriate enforcement action.   

To help homeowners stay apprised of any unauthorized changes to their deed, they can sign up to receive notifications of certain changes in filing status through the Filing Activity Notification System (FANS) at Many local County Clerks offer this service as well.