SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield residents learned about the latest scams targeting homeowners and others. They also found out how to protect their property by way of the Homestead Act.
Homeowners may not even know it exists: the Homestead Act allows you to protect the value of your property from creditors.
“If you’re sued, and your house is valued under $500,000, then they cannot say, ‘take your house in the lawsuit,’” said Cheryl Coakley-Rivera, Esq., at the Register of Deeds.
Coakley-Rivera is visiting 23 cities and towns in Hampden County to outline what the Register of Deeds offers the people it serves. Like members of the East Forest Park Civic Association.
Coakley-Rivera is also warning residents of scams. 22News learned that one involves a scammer from California calling Hampden County residents offering to sell you a copy of your deed.
The red flag – the scammer wants you to pay over the phone with your credit card.
“You can get a copy of your deed by just going on our website,” said Coakley-Rivera. “And you can get a free copy. If you’d like a certified copy you can get one free by coming to one of these events right here or you can come down to the registry and the statutory fee is $1.”
The two-dozen people in attendance also learned about the Consumer Notification System or CNS. The free service will send you an alert if someone tries to fraudulently attach a lien to your property.
“Rather than wait 20 years,” said Coakley-Rivera. “By then it’s very problematic to get that removed.”
You can sign up for the CNS by visiting the Register of Deeds website.