Dallas-Fort Worth man finds fraudulent property deeds in his name
In March, Fred Manning attended a hearing to bring one of the properties back into the names of the rightful owners.
DALLAS COUNTY, Texas – Two years ago, Fred Manning received calls from people wanting to buy a house in South Dallas that he was listed as the owner.
Manning knew he didn’t own the house on Kynard Street.
However, a certificate filed with the Dallas County clerk in 2019 indicated that he did so. Manning went to the county clerk office and got a printout of the certificate.
He said when he explained to the clerk’s office that it was a fraudulent act, he was told, “Look, we just get the paper and just put it down.”
“I just wanted to find out why my name is in this house,” Manning told the WFAA.
What happened to Manning is part of a larger problem where properties are being fraudulently transferred from their rightful owners to people who do not actually own the properties and are often selling or renting them out for illegal profit.
Manning’s case represents a twist as it involved someone who fraudulently committed the act on his behalf without his knowledge. To this day, Manning has no idea who faked his name in the acts or why they would even do it.
Current law requires district clerks in all counties except Harris County generally to accept the deeds submitted to them. Only Harris County employees can apply for photo identification for personal filing.
According to deeds, the property on Kynard became the property of Manning in 2019.
Manning said he found out about this in January 2020 when he received calls on the property. He knew immediately that the act was fraudulent.
The act stated that Manning was single. In reality he is married. It listed him as a buyer with a specific address in Garland. But Manning never lived at this address.
The information provided by the seller about the transfer of the documents is also suspicious. It lists the seller’s address as a baseball field for a Grand Prairie middle school.
Manning tried to reach out to the rightful owners but could not find them. He went into the neighborhood and nobody knew her. He went to the clerk’s office to alert them to the problem with the dead.
“They told me that there was nothing they could do and that they had simply submitted the papers that were given to them,” he wrote on an affidavit.
He found the notary listed in the deed. When he was shown the document, the notary informed him that his signature had been forged.
Manning contacted several law enforcement agencies who told him he could not file a report because there was “no victim” as Manning could not find the rightful owners.
Manning contacted the WFAA on January 6, 2020 after discovering the news broadcaster’s “Dirty Deeds” series about fraudulent real estate transactions.
After Manning contacted the WFAA, they found a second property on King Cole Circle that someone was trying to transfer on Manning’s behalf. The act was recorded on the same day as the first “dirty act” on Kynard in 2019.
Records also show a document filed claiming the bank released the lien on the property.
In January 2020, the bank submitted documents to the clerk’s office indicating that the lien release “was fraudulently filed without the bank’s knowledge or consent”.
Eventually, Manning was contacted by an attorney representing the actual owners of the Kynard property, who are now out of state.
In March, Manning and the property owners attended a hearing before a judge who signed an order directing the district clerk to delete the “fraudulent deed” at the Kynard address.
“Untangling this thing was a really complicated process,” Manning said. “It basically ripped out the property rights of these people from among them.”