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In this post and in the spirit of Fraud Protection Month we would like to raise awareness about the importance of Title Insurance.
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario has created a very helpful and informative brochure for the consumer about title insurance, which can be found by clicking ‘FSCO.‘
In this post we will highlight parts of the title insurance brochure and encourage you to visit the Financial Services Commission of Ontario web site to read the entire brochure.
What is Title Insurance?
Title insurance is an insurance policy that protects residential or commercial property owners and their lenders against losses related to the property’s title or ownership.
What does Title Insurance Cover?
For a onetime fee, called a premium, a title insurance policy may provide protection from such losses as:
Unknown title defects (title issues that prevent you from having clear ownership of the property);
■ Existing liens against the property’s title (e.g. the previous ownerhad unpaid debts from utilities, mortgages, property taxes or condominium charges secured against the property);
■ Encroachment issues (e.g. a structure on your property needs to be removed because it is on your neighbour’s property);
■ Title fraud;
■ Errors in surveys and public records; and
■ Other title related issues that can affect your ability to sell, mortgage, or lease your property in the future.
What is Title Fraud?
Title fraud (or real estate title fraud) is a form of real estate fraud that harms individual homeowners and their lenders. Title fraud typically involves a fraudster using stolen personal information, or forged documents to transfer your home’s title to him/herself (or an accomplice), without your knowledge. The fraudster then gets a mortgage on your home and disappears with the money.
Need Title Insurance?
If you are not certain whether you have title insurance or not, it would be best to contact your Lawyer and seek legal advice as to whether it was obtained at time of the purchase of your home / property. Contact us; we may be able to help you as well by directing you to title insurance providers here in Canada.