Mortgage Fraud – It can Happen to you too
E-registration has made it possible for potential homeowners in Canada to look up Ontario mortgage rates without having to pour over bulky real estate directories. However it also comes with its fair share of fraudulent practices. A senior citizen who is unfamiliar with mortgages and traditional deeds might be unable to recognize newer forms of title documents.
Mortgage fraud has become a hot topic for debate in recent years especially considering the billions it costs Canadian insurers and lenders every year. This is why title fraud is considered to be a chargeable offence in Ontario. A lot of factors contribute to mortgage fraud. Some of them are related to –
Easier Access to Online Property Info
Working on the web might be convenient for lenders and buyers but the same convenience can also be exploited by fraudsters. If someone wishes to initiate title fraud all he/she will have to do is gain access to real-property assessment information and electronic land registrations both of which are electronically available.
Receiving financing for mortgages and buying homes has become extremely depersonalized. This means that potential buyers can now apply for mortgages either by phone or online, arrange for financing and sign courier sent documents without ever having to meet with any authority figure in person.
Competition within Mortgage Lenders
Consumers have a lot of choices when it comes to determining where they should seek financing for mortgage. Lenders know this all too well which is why they are now more aggressive in pursuing clients and expanding their businesses. Some of them might not think twice about resorting to unscrupulous means to do so.
The chance to close transactions first is also why most people now prefer to forgo traditional safeguards like hiring lawyers earlier on. Such actions are prime opportunities for fraud. Senior citizens are more susceptible to fraud especially if they own valuable homes that are mortgage free. Friends or relatives might resort to title fraud in order to obtain immediate inheritance.
Act now – Criminal Complaints
In order to nip this problem in the bud it is best that you file an official complaint against it as soon as you can. This can gain you some compensation and an order for restitution if a fraudster is charged.
A defrauded owner might also be able to bring a civil action against a fraudster as well as for the damages that are a result of the latter’s actions and for a judgment that restore’s the title of the home to the original owner. It might not impossible to gain judgments for the damages and the title. However in most cases a defendant is not financially capable of paying up.
Title Insurance Claims
These provide the best possible protection against title fraud since a fraudulent mortgage can be paid without resorting to court appearances if it is proven by an insurer’s investigation. However most senior citizens have not purchased properties through such means which means that they are not covered by title insurance.