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Real Estate Fraud

Protecting yourself from mortgage and real estate fraud.

It is important to know that real estate fraud exists in Canada, how it occurs and how to best protect yourself.

There are various types of real estate fraud. Two types of real estate fraud that may result in financial loss for consumers include title fraud and foreclosure fraud.

Actions to take to protect yourself:

  • Contact your mortgage lender first if you are having difficulty making your mortgage payments.
  • Consult your lawyer if you wish to give another person the right to deal with your personal assets, and make sure you cancel this right if you don’t need it any more.
  • Consult your provincial land registry office to ensure that the title of your home is in your name.
  • Check your credit report regularly to make sure the information is accurate.
  • Consider getting title insurance. Title insurance covers losses related to title fraud and legal expenses to restore a title. There are two types of insurance:
    • Lender Title Insurance – Protects the lender until the mortgage has been paid off.
    • Individual Title Insurance – Protects the homeowner from losses as long as he or she owns the home, even if there is no mortgage.

Dealing With A Fraud Situation If You're a Victim

As soon as you discover that you might be a victim, you should:

  • Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
  • Report the situation to the police, and record the police report number.
  • Report the fraud to the two credit-reporting agencies, Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada.
  • Contact your provincial land registry office as soon as possible. Find out what laws may exist in your province to protect you if you are a victim of real estate fraud.
  • Contact your financial institution. Keep all of the documents that provide evidence of the fraud. Record the name of the person you spoke to at the bank, as well as the date and time you called and when you became aware that you are a victim of fraud.