Gov. DeSantis signs law protecting info of Floridians who sign up for property scam notifications

‘This law is about trust.’

Gov. Ron DeSantis has just signed legislation to make it safer for Floridians to sign up for services that notify them of a potential property scam or fraud.

The measure (HB 285), which lawmakers unanimously approved this past Session, became effective upon receiving the Governor’s signature.

In short, it protects the private information of people who sign up for recording notification services (RNS) — typically free programs that inform deed holders if a document has been filed to change ownership of their property.

Those programs, including one under Broward County Property Appraiser Marty Kiar, help counteract deed fraud, a growing problem where scammers file fake deeds to steal houses from their rightful owners.

All HB 285 does is make emails, telephone numbers, personal and business names, and parcel identification numbers submitted to a Clerk or Property Appraiser for RNS exempt from public disclosure.

The goal, according to a press note from the measure’s sponsor, Parkland Democratic Rep. Christine Hunschofsky, is to encourage more residents to sign up for the services, as they become more effective with more registrants.

“This law is about trust,” she said Tuesday shortly after DeSantis signed the legislation. “We want people to have peace of mind that they can use these services without compromising their privacy, (and) I’m proud to have worked with Marty Kiar … to take this critical step in property fraud prevention.”

Hunschofsky told Florida Politics in January that passing HB 285 was among her top priorities for the 2024 Legislative Session.

St. Petersburg Republican Sen. Nick DiCeglie carried a similar companion measure (SB 1000). He ultimately laid his bill on the table in favor of Hunschofsky’s version.

In the first six months of 2023 alone, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that there were 92 cases of deed fraud under investigation in Broward County.

Lawmakers last year approved legislation (HB 1419) that, among other things, launched a pilot program authorizing county Clerks and Property Appraisers throughout Florida to create notifications similar to the one in Broward.

Kiar called HB 285 an “excellent” addition to Florida Statutes that “will help safeguard registered property owners from becoming victims of fraud.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • nail

    May 7, 2024 at 2:09 pm

    Does this mean that Floridians don’t have to listen to the desantis lies any longer! Can we sue him now?

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 7, 2024 at 4:55 pm

    If the scammer signs up for this, how does that help the scammed?

    The scammer will get all the protections intended for the scammed, making home theft even harder for the real owners to fix since they’ll have no way to find out who stole their house.

  • LexT

    May 8, 2024 at 9:33 am

    We do not need a law protecting credit protecting services. We need laws protecting property owners. The reason people can file fake deeds is because banks are allowing more and more to do things online without seeing whom they are doing business. I should not have to pay to keep someone from defrauding the government with a fake deed and stealing from me.

  • Nope

    May 9, 2024 at 1:24 am

    This is going about it the wrong way. It’s a government problem. If someone is applying for use or transfer of a deed, and there is already one recorded in the county records, they are supposed to have to jump through a hell of a lot of hoops to make something happen, have to provide identification, notarization, etc. There cannot be duplicates. Title examination must be thorough and verified. I agree with Lex that the issue with digital fraud is crazy rampant especially now synthetic fraud and AI hasn’t even begun its deluge yet. (Your government refuses to protect you and all hell is about to break loose. ) But it’s not the banks, it’s shadow banking industry which is wholly unregulated and yet originates nearly 80% of all property/mortgage related activity in the country. Almost all of it sight unseen. And super fast, don’t bother us with the details fast. Congress has refused to issue the same regulations for digital based shadow lenders and non bank financial institutions, so they mostly operate outside the laws that govern banks minus a few slaps on the wrist when CFPB gets around to it, twelfth of never. 9/10 times it’s gonna be one of these outfits. And the counties are so lax and backwards they don’t care. Most of them still show it all in public records online so you can just jack anyone’s info. Even go in person and jack it. What D is talking about here is nonsense and he knows it. Counties enacted the deed protection services free of charge BECAUSE counties are too lazy / inept to police it themselves. they act like it’s 1980. Florida could fix that at the state level by requiring safeguarding by Counties where the deeds are recorded, like civilized states have done, and Congress could close the regulation loophole for the shadow lending industry. Why don’t they? Why are we always having to ask why they’re so unwilling to protect citizens?

  • What happen to americanism

    May 9, 2024 at 9:53 am

    He needs to protect his real estate friends. Nothing personal 😔

Comments are closed.


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