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City Treasurer: Scam That Took Deed To My Home Is Spreading

At Chicago City Hall Outside The Mayor's Office. (AP Photo)

At Chicago City Hall Outside The Mayor’s Office. (AP Photo)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago City Treasurer Stephanie Neely says the same scam that put the deed to her South Side home in someone else’s name has spread to other states.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports, it was this summer when a reporter told Chicago Treasurer Stephanie Neely that the deed to the home she owns was no longer in her name. Neely was more than a little surprised.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports

“Shocked. Shocked, because most people will at least check their credit reports once or twice a year or once every couple of years,” Neely said. “No one checks their deed.”

The deed to Neely’s home was in the name of the Moorish Science Temple of America.

Neely says at least 30 people in Cook County were victimized by the temple.

She says it is incredibly easy to put someone’s home in anyone’s name.

“Walk into the Recorder of Deeds (office), $40 and file an affidavit,” she said. “It’s that easy.”

Now, Neely has had to take steps to get the title back, and she is working with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to try to close the loophole that makes it so easy to take a title to property, potentially to use it as collateral or to take out a second mortgage.