There has been a spike in title fraud in Canada in 2023 so it’s a good idea to be aware of what it is and how you can do your best to prevent it from happening to you. You’ve worked hard to save a lot of money to buy a house which may be the biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime, so title fraud is a big deal so pay attention!
What is title fraud?
Title fraud is when a fraudster uses forged documents or steals your identity to either change the name on the title of your home to sell it or obtain a mortgage on it or any other properties you own. In the day and age of technology, it’s easier than ever for scammers to impersonate homeowners. Although no need to panic, there are ways to prevent this from happening to you and to protect you if it does.
Ways to prevent real estate title fraud:
Keep personal information in a safe place and shred any discarded documents that contain your personal information
Don’t share your personal information through the phone, mail, or online unless you’re positive it is secure:
Note: As mortgage brokers we take your privacy and security very seriously. For that reason, we obtain your personal information through our secure portal and treat your information with the utmost care.
If there is an alternative option to providing your Social Insurance Number, take it!
Unfortunately in the world of mortgages, it is inevitable.
Check-in with the land title registry office to double check your name is on the title
What is title insurance?
None of us are trying to get scammed - but unfortunately it happens. Having title insurance will protect you in the event that you are one of the unlucky victims of fraudulent activity.
Here are some situations in which title insurance protects you:
If someone attempts to acquire your home through fraud
If there are errors in the legal description of the property
If there are unpaid bills associated with the property from the previous owner (mortgage payments, land taxes, strata maintenance etc.)
If building removal is necessary due to zoning law violations
It protects you from other people with interests in the property
What situations are excluded from title insurance?
If, as the insurance policy holder, you conduct renovations that violate bylaws and building removal or modification is necessary
If you are aware of any title defects before purchasing the property
Wear and tear on the home or the property
Any risk/damages that would be covered by homeowner’s insurance
How much does Title Insurance Cost?
In BC, the average cost is $225.00 and it is a one time cost with no annual premiums. For the protection of your largest asset, it is a small price to pay!
Feel free to reach out to us at Venture Mortgages to learn more about how we take special care of your personal information through our mortgage process.