What is title fraud?
In our previous post “Title Insurance” we spoke about why you should have title insurance on your residential or commercial property. One of the main reasons is to protect you and your property against title fraud.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada describes this type of fraud “when the title to your home is stolen, and then the fraudster sells the home or applies for a new mortgage against it.” It “usually starts with identity theft, which can happen if somebody steals your personal information.”
The Canadian Bankers Association states similarly that it “occurs when a fraudster assumes the identity of an individual homeowner and then uses that false identity to pose as the homeowner. They could then assume the title on the home, sell the property or obtain a mortgage on that property or other properties in the homeowner’s name.”
How to protect your property against title fraud
The best way to protect your property against title fraud is to purchase title insurance. Read our previous post to learn more about it. Securing and keeping your identity safe from prying eyes and fraudsters is equally important. There are insurance companies that specialize in this type of fraud. Your Lawyer can help you.
One of the easiest ways for criminals is to act on vacant properties. Properties in which the owners are not living in it for an extended duration of time. This allows the impersonator to come into the property, list it, and sell it as the owner. Another scenario is with rental properties. Make sure the potential tenant has been properly vetted. They can be a source of protection for your real estate or sometimes they can be accomplices to the fraud.
Trusterra Mortgage can help too
If you have any questions about this topic please reach out to us. We are ready to do our best to assist you. It could be as simple as answering your questions. After consulting together it may be decided that the best course of action is to seek legal councel.
Long road to recovery
Victims of title fraud go through a long strenous process of proving their innocence. Often times this can take one year or longer depending on the extensiveness of the fraudulent act. For example, if the fraudster has taken out a mortgage against your property the lender will want to be paid back. If you do not have title insurance you can be on the hook for the unlawful mortgage registered on the title of your property. In most cases, the victims with the help of their Lawyers are able to eventually clear their names of any wrong doing. Their insurance policy assists with the recovery as well.