Real estate scam reported

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Secretary of State Tre Hargett is warning buyers and sellers of homes in Tennessee about a possible scam involving real estate titles. Within the last couple of days, the Secretary of State’s Business Services Division has received copies of letters sent to at least eight real estate companies, suggesting that there are claims against  titles of 28 residential properties.

The letters, postmarked from Portland, Ore., say the claims were submitted on behalf of an organization called “the French Trust.” They threaten legal action against anyone attempting to sell any of the listed properties.

The letters urges recipients to contact the French Trust.

Although the Secretary of State’s office is referenced in the letter, Secretary Hargett advises that the office has no involvement in sending the letters and no involvement in enforcing legal restrictions against real estate transaction titles.

“It is not immediately clear what the motivations might be for sending out these letters, but we do know that the facts and representations made in them are not true,” Secretary Hargett said. “We want to get the message out to people who receive the letters because we don’t want the letters to unnecessarily complicate real estate transactions in our state.”

If you receive one of these letters, please contact the Secretary of State’s Business Services Division for assistance at (615) 741-2286 or via e-mail at


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