#30 Fraudulent Property Liens/Paper Terrorism
Imagine preparing to refinance your home’s mortgage to get a lower monthly payment but ending up finding that you have six liens on your property that you didn’t know about. Well, it’s not impossible, and, unfortunately, it’s a growing form of identity theft to which many are falling victim.
Many times, when a person has a lien on their property, it’s from the United States government in the form of a tax lien. This can happen as a result of unpaid income taxes or property tax obligations. If there is a lien on your home, it can prevent you from selling or refinancing your property until the obligated amount is paid with interest to the government.
If you pay the appropriate taxes each year but still come to find out that there is a tax lien on your property, you may be the victim of identity theft. One thing that should be determined is in what state the tax lien was filed. Property liens are a matter of public record and the recorded lien will even tell you how much is owed.
If you noticed a fraudulent tax lien, how could it have happened?
- Someone obtained unemployment benefits in your name; therefore, the extra income would need to be reported to the IRS when filing taxes.
- A criminal filed an income tax return in your name without your knowledge and received your benefits based on fraudulent information. When the IRS audited your taxes, they found that the information on that fraudulent return was inaccurate.
- A loan was taken out in your name by someone who had no intention of repaying the loan. The debt may have been secured by the value of your property. The creditor had then filed a lien in an attempt to recoup the debt from the property owner.
Paper Terrorism: Sovereign Citizens File False Liens as Revenge Against Public Officials
Paper terrorism is legally and financially painful to the government officials targeted. Sovereigns Citizens file retaliatory, bogus property liens that may not be discovered by the victim until they attempt to sell their property. Sovereigns also file fake tax forms that are designed to ruin an enemy’s credit rating and cause them to be audited by the IRS.”
U.S. Justice Department officials said the tactic is most commonly used by sovereign citizens who are defying and protesting the U.S. tax code, including refusing to pay income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.
Credit monitoring will not alert you to this type of fraud.
LibertyID will take the following steps for/with their members:
- Contact impacted creditor/businesses where the victim’s information was misused and have the fraudulent accounts closed and note the presence of identity theft
- Place fraud alerts at all three credit reporting agencies
- Place credit freezes at all three credit reporting agencies, if appropriate
- File report with FTC
- If their identity theft involved the use of your driver’s license number, Social Security Number, or another type of identification, will we contact the relevant agencies to notify them of the theft
- Review credit reports with the victim to ensure there is no other types of fraud
- Provide single bureau credit monitoring with alerts for 12 months
- LibertyID will ensure that the restoration is completed with the victim
- Periodically contact the member throughout the 12 months following resolution of their ID theft recovery case, if warranted