Kent County needs updated software

I’m writing as a candidate for Kent County Recorder of Deeds in response to a letter from David Mazur who asserted that the current system of maintaining Kent County property records is good enough because we don’t need to fix “what ain’t broke.”

He misunderstands how thieves manipulate public records by filing false documents using data found on the Dark Web.

According to the FBI the white collar crime of “house stealing” first came to light in 2008. After Equifax was breached in 2017, it has been popping up in all states.

Here’s how it works: The thief forges new documents and surreptitiously files them without the knowledge of the property owner or of the Recorder of Deeds, who is not legally responsible for the validity of what is filed.

There are several variations of this crime. The most common is a loan against the property’s equity which the rightful owners do not discover until their credit is ruined.

In more egregious cases, the property is sold without the knowledge of the rightful owner. It may only come to light when the new owner – who has also been scammed – shows up to claim the property.

What I propose is to update county software that will alert owners whenever a change is made to a recorded document. This is similar to what banks do when a new bill payer is added to an account to give the owner the chance to stop payment before a theft occurs.

Insofar as my qualifications, I’m not a newcomer to the county. I’ve served 12 years on the County Planning Commission. I serve on the board of the Friends of the Delaware Archives. I am past president of the Southern Delaware American Heart Association.

I hold a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness with a concentration in Organizational Management and Administration. I am certified in Public Records Keeping by American University and during my 27-year career in the military, I led staffs of up to 400 stateside and overseas and once supported a customer base in excess of 400,000 people.

Visit or email for more information or to schedule a nonpartisan talk about House Stealing for your civic organization or HOA.

Being asleep at the switch in today’s world of cyber thieves isn’t good enough for Kent County property owners. That’s why I would very much appreciate your vote on Nov. 6.

Eugenia Thornton

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