Can someone sell your house without your consent?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis neighbors were astonished to learn that a licensed notary allegedly cashed in on fake home sales.

“That’s really an incredible crime,” said Jerold Heard, who has lived near one of the homes for nearly 50 years. “It’s just amazing how low these people stoop.”

As reported by FOX13, police accused Shaneika Seymore of approving the forged signatures on the quit claim deeds of at least five homes across Memphis.

RELATED: Woman forged signatures to cash in on sale of properties she didn’t own, police say

According to court documents, the homes were sold without the consent or knowledge of the actual owners. Seymore is accused of notarizing the documents and cashing checks from some of the property sales.

“It’s extremely serious,” said Vincent Clark, administrator for the Shelby County Register of Deeds. “If it meets the legal requirements for filing, we have to file it. As crazy as it sounds.”

Clark told FOX13 that his office processes between 500-700 deeds a day. He said across the country, there have been reports of crooked notaries.

“They’re legitimate notaries, but they are not following the rules that notaries are supposed to follow,” he explained.

Police said that Seymore notarized the signatures on quit claim deeds, which are simple documents that transfer the deed of a property to another person. Unlike a warranty deed, a quit claim deed does not guarantee that the person transferring the ownership of the property has ownership interest.

“That’s absolutely crazy,” said Mowbray Rowand, a real estate developer who owns multiple Memphis businesses. “I never thought that people could even think of something like that.”

Rowand estimates that he transfers deeds a couple times a month. For those hoping to sell their homes, he recommends using an attorney to oversee the sale.

“The quit claim deed is a very powerful document,” Rowand said. “It only needs a dishonest notary – you could really wreck a person’s life.”

For property owners, Clark recommended using the register’s fraud alert service. The system will alert homeowners via email the moment their property changes hands.

“Some of these folks are not finding out for months or years after the fact that the property was transferred out of their name unbeknownst to them,” Clark said.