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Property Fraud FAQ


Why do fraudulent documents get recorded?

The Clerk’s Office must record all documents that meet the requirements outlined in the New York State Statutes. If a document is properly executed and presented with payment, it is the responsibility of the Clerk’s office to record the document.

What is Property Fraud Alert?

Property Fraud Alert is a free service offered by the Sullivan County Clerk’s Office that helps members of the public protect their property from fraud by monitoring the documents being recorded in the Sullivan County Clerk’s Office.

Can I sign up even if I don’t own property in Sullivan County?

Yes, if a document is recorded with the name you chose to monitor, you will receive an alert.

Does this service alert me of documents being recorded in other counties?

Yes, this service will alert subscribers of documents being recorded in each county that you have subscribed with. On the enrollment page you can pull down what county to enroll in. You need to enroll in each county separately.

If I have a common name, what will distinguish my alerts from another person’s?

There is nothing that will distinguish one name from another. Therefore, a person with a common name, like John Smith, may receive alerts for documents recorded with the same name. View the document using our Online Records search to determine if the recorded document is relevant to you or your property.

How are people committing fraud in this way?

Fraud can be committed in a number of ways by recording documents in public records. For example, someone can create a fraudulent document that will deed your home to them and then record that document in the Clerk’s Office.

How can I sign up for this service?

Signing up is quick and easy! Simply follow these steps:

  • Go to Fraud Alerts Signup.
  • Choose what county you want to subscribe to in the dropdown.  You must do a separate entry for each county selected.
  • Enter the name or business you would like to monitor
  • Can do three different names or spellings at once
  • Enter an email address you would like the alerts sent to

You may repeat the process to monitor additional names and counties. If you entered an email address, you will receive a confirmation message.

What documents do I need to gather before signing up for this service?

The only information you need to provide is your first and last name or business name along with your email address.  Nothing else is needed when signing up for the service.

I received an alert – now what? How can I view the document?

The alert email will provide you with a direct link to search and easily review the recording information and the image to determine if this document is of concern to you.

If you need further assistance, please contact the County Clerk’s office at (845) 807-0411.

If you suspect you are a victim of fraud, contact law enforcement. You may also need to contact an attorney to determine whether you need to take legal action to undo the fraudulent recording.

What steps can I take to deter property fraud?

  • If your property is not occupied, you should check often to make sure it is not occupied illegally.
  • Ask someone you trust to look after your house if you are going to be away for an extended period of time.
  • Do not let mail pile up if you are going out of town.
  • Make sure that the Assessor and Tax Collector offices have the correct mailing address for you or the person who should receive notices about your property.
  • Contact the Assessor and Tax Collector if you suddenly stop receiving notices that you used to get, such as your Tax Bill.

In the event you think you may be a victim of property fraud:

  • Act quickly!
  • Report fraud to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office immediately by calling 845-794-7100.
  • Contact your Town Assessor and Tax Collector offices and alert them of the purported fraud.
  • Neither the County Clerk, the Assessor, or the Tax Collector offices can take legal action on your behalf to reverse the fraudulent activity. Therefore, you may want to consult an attorney to confirm your ownership in the property or take other appropriate action.