Saturday, June 28, 2008

Real Estate Title Fraud - Protect Yourself

According to the RCMP, one in six Canadians will be victims of some sort of fraud in 2008. This will result in losses estimated to be close to $3 billion, while in the U.S., the FBI estimates losses there will reach as high as $30 billion.

Title insurance is necessary to help protect consumers against real estate title fraud. In 2007, more than 42,000 transactions were subjected to closer review by our fraud underwriting process. This vigilance prevented more than $23 million in potential claims related to fraud.

Although real estate title fraud is far less frequent than other forms of fraud arising from identity theft, it is a violation that can have devastating and long lasting effects on its victims. One of the great injustices about this type of fraud is that perpetrators are rarely caught.

Real estate title fraud can take several forms, and it often starts with identity theft. A basic scam can be simple: a fraudster targets a house, forges a transfer deed using a stolen identity, registers title to the property in his or her own name, forges a discharge of the existing mortgage and borrows against the clear title.

Real estate title fraud can happen to anyone. It’s up to you to get informed and protect yourself. Speak with your lawyer for more details .

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