FAIRFIELD — Solano County has found a use for a portion of the money raised by a real estate document recording fee increase that took effect in January.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved having the District Attorney’s Office spend $33,600 on software development. This software will allow the county to send notification letters to property owners when certain transactions, such as deeds of trust and quitclaims, are recorded concerning their property.
That way property owners would be aware of fraudulent activity concerning their property. A county report said a critical factor in combatting real estate fraud is identifying fraudulent activity quickly.
The Board of Supervisors on Nov. 26, 2013, approved raising the recording fee for certain real estate documents from $3 to $10. District Attorney Don du Bain made the request to beef up the county’s real estate fraud unit.
The $10 fee on 28 documents is to bring in about $750,000 annually. Money is to fund not only the existing real estate fraud unit, but allow it to add a paralegal and part-time forensic accountant, as well as pay for expert witnesses and outreach to warn homeowners of real estate fraud.
Two candidates in the race for the 4th District Board of Supervisors seat in June voiced their opposition to the fee increase. Incumbent Supervisor John Vasquez, who retained his seat, supported the increase.
Software development for the new fraud notification program will be done by ACS Enterprise Solutions. The Board of Supervisors approved the expenditure unanimously.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.
This version corrects the $33,600 figure in the second paragraph.