Title fraud

Title Fraud

Title fraud is when someone, known as a fraudster, steals your identity and/or forges documents to either:

  • Re-mortgage your home and walk away with the proceeds; or
  • Sell your home right out from under you.

Fraud comes in many forms and whether it’s referred to as mortgage fraud, real estate fraud or title fraud; it is a growing problem in Canada and right across North America.

The three main fraud types affecting the real estate industry in Canada are:

  1. Title fraud — when the ownership or title of a property is fraudulently changed or documents forged to allow a fraudster to illegally sell or refinance the property.
  2. Mortgage fraud — a scheme used to obtain a mortgage from a lender under false pretenses, also known as application fraud.
  3. Value fraud — where a lender is led to believe a property is worth more than it really is through concealment or intentional misrepresentation of the property’s attributes and value.

Unlike credit card fraud, with title fraud the onus is on you as a homeowner to prove that real estate title fraud has occurred. If you are a victim and don’t have a title insurance policy in place, it can take considerable time, money and effort to deal with having to restore your title and/or remove any fraudulently registered mortgages. Plus, until the title is restored, you will be unable to sell or mortgage your home, potentially derailing important financial plans.

Although title insurance can’t prevent you from becoming a victim of fraud, it can protect you from many of its consequences and the resulting stress.

Title insurance protects homeowners against losses associated with title fraud, as well as survey and title issues/defects: it’s the best possible protection you can buy. A title insurance policy can be purchased for a low one-time premium and protects you for as long as you hold interest in the property. Even if you’ve owned your home for years, there is a policy right for your unique needs.

To learn more about the benefits of title insurance and how it can protect you, please click here or email info@fct.ca.