GREGORY CERCHIONE - Criminal, Incompetent or Criminally Incompetent?
We believe he is a crook MORE

It is hard to tell if it is laziness, incompetence, hubris, greed or corruption. A case is can be made that is is a bit of all five, especially when the courts turn a blind eye to the problem.

What really remains to be seen is.... how much deed fraud is too much for the system of property transfer in NYC to withstand?

It is really quite simple. Deeds are the currency of real estate. There are strict rules that must be followed lest the whole thing go sideways.

It is so important that those rules are followed that whoever lends you money to buy real estate almost always requires that you get title insurance from someone who will research the chain of title step by step from time immemorial to the date of the transaction to make sure that you are getting something with a legit title. The title company insures the bank/buyer to the amount of the purchase price based on paying a premium.

  • Sometimes Title Companies make mistakes. They pay for those to the amount of insurance.
  • Sometimes Title Companies work fast and loose with the truth. They pay for those to the amount of insurance.
  • Sometimes Title Companies don't do due diligence. They pay for those to the amount of insurance.
  • Sometimes Title Company clients fraudulently induce them into insuring something. They either pay or tell their client that they are not required to pay because fraud cannot be the basis for a contract.

Where it gets really interesting is when the banks are too cozy with the developers and loan based on the property itself as collateral. If the buyer fails to pay they take the property. Simple, no?

But what happens if the deed itself is bad and there is no collateral for the bank to attach to?

Temporal anomalies
are not just for Star Trek anymore.
and are Fatal to a Deed, expensive to Title Companies and Lenders, and can be Fatal to a Law and/or a Notary License MORE

Temporal Anomalies

are Fatal to a Deed, expensive to Title Companies and Lenders, and can be Fatal to a Law and/or a Notary License.

  • --Deeds get recorded to set priority of liens. The mere filing of a deed does not make it valid as it must be notarized and the notarization & deed must be both legal and possible.
  • --A Title Company risks the entire value of the policy by accepting impossible deeds and may be subject to civil and criminal prosecution.
  • --A Lender risks the entire value of the loan by accepting impossible deeds and may be subject to civil and criminal prosecution.
  • --A Notary risks their license by swearing to impossibly dated deeds and may even be subject to civil and criminal prosecution.
  • --An officer of the court (Attorney) risks their license, sanctions and civil and criminal prosecution by submitting impossibly dated deeds.
  • --A Party risks losing their property if the deed is impossibly dated.

Given those risks, why would any Title Company, Lender, Notary, Lawyer or Party willingly create, accept or file impossible deeds?
We get it. Stuff happens. But it is better to get out in front of a problem. Subscribe to the Dirty Deeds Service.

Some Commentary

A facially impossible deed does not exist.
If it does not exist, neither do subsequent deeds for the same property.

How often does this occur? Often enough to make the new money real estate lenders and their title insurers shudder.
And here, we are reviewing almost a million deeds and collecting info to help those who might be damaged by such deeds, be they parties to transactions, attorneys, notaries, lenders or title insurers.
Just take a look at the deed on this page. It is notarized as having been signed on September 26, 2009, but the Grantor, an attorney and referee (both titles are officers of the court), swears that the deed was transferred on October 29, 2009.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to do the math. The Grantor swears it has already happened in the future by some 33 days.
How can that be?
One can make up excuses all day long, but he fact remains, a notaries signature is the actual FINAL act in a document, it is not a precursor. Anything else may actually be not only impossible, but illegal.

Some numbers...

Most bad deeds by one notary is 4.
Most bad deeds by one attorney is 4.
Most bad deeds by one firm is 12.
LAST UPDATED : February 28, 2017
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An Impossible Deed

A deed notarized some 33 days before the deed is sworn to have been executed. Check it out:

1457 west 5th street brooklyn by eric on Scribd

Subscribe to the Dirty Deeds Project

Dirty-Deeds.org is grinding through New York City deeds to index the Title Insurance Companies, Lenders, Notaries, Attorneys and Parties.
We offer a service wherein you can be notified that a deed is questionable in that the deed may be or is impossible.
Find out when we come across a name you specify as a Title Insurance Company, Lender, Notary, Attorney or Party. The initial cost is $100 for an individual and $2,000 for an organization. That gets you an email notice and PDF of the deed every time we come across a problematic one that the entity you specified has a role in.
For Individuals, the first 5 deeds are included in the $100 initial price. Thereafter, $25 per deed or blocks of ten for another $100.
For Organizations*, 100 deeds are included in the $2,000 initial price. Thereafter, $25 per deed or blocks of 100 for another $2,000.
Protect yourself with the information we compile from our review all 900,000 +/- deeds since January 1, 2003*. Subscribe HERE: https://www.jotform.us/form/70095582336156
*= One legal name for a Title Insurer or Lender or up to 20 names from a Law/Accounting Firm.
**= deeds before that date are much more difficult to process and will be a separate project.

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