April 02, 2007
Title fraud is a new type of real estate fraud in Canada that most often hurts individual homeowners. The most common forms of title fraud involve fraudsters using stolen identities or forged documents to transfer a registered owner's title to himself or herself without the registered owner's knowledge. The fraudster then obtains a mortgage on this property and once the funds are advanced on the mortgage, he or she disappears.
Be alert to identity theft
Pay attention to the following in order to detect fraud early:
? Tax statements or bills are unexpectedly mailed to your home, addressed to a different individual.
? You receive a phone call from a caller inquiring about a new mortgage that has already been arranged for your property.
? Bills do not arrive as expected.
? Creditors contact you regarding purchases you did not make.
? There are discrepancies in your bank or credit card statements.
Consumers can also talk to their lawyers and advisers about alternative methods of protection, including the benefits of purchasing title insurance. Many lenders are requiring borrows to purchase this type of insurance in order protect their property. It is a one time expense that will cover the purchaser for many years and typically only costs a couple hundred dollars.