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Posted on February 21st 2006 in Legal Articles

What is Title Fraud?

What is Title Fraud?

Some of the most common cases of title fraud include instances where:

• Someone refinances your property by forging your signature and using
fake identification, running away with the funds and leaving you to pay the costs of defending your title;
• Someone transfers title out of your name and then mortgages the
property without your knowledge, leaving you with the responsibility of
having to repay the mortgage and reclaim your ownership.
Some of the risks may include:
• The cost of defending one’s right of ownership, which can cost tens
of thousands of dollars;
• The stress and uncertainty surrounding the a resolution of
title-related problems;
• The time spent waiting for resolution from the Land Titles Assurance
Fund; and,
• The loss associated with a fraudulent mortgage that is entitled to
remain registered against the true home owner’s interest.

Purchasing a home may be the largest investment you ever make. Your investment is protected when your lawyer ensures that you have “good title” to the property you are purchasing. By ensuring you have good title, your lawyer makes certain that title to your property is accurately registered and is free from unknown claims. What your lawyer can’t protect you from is the possibility that you will become a victim of title fraud.

First Canadian Title (which happens to be the company with whom we place many of our title insurance policies) is now offering title insurance to existing homeowners who did not purchase title insurance when they acquired their home. It can be ordered through your lawyer during a refinance transaction or at any time during the course of home ownership. While most titles are investigated when the property is purchased, a title insurance policy will protect you against the most common types of title fraud.

The policy is effective from the date on which you took title to the property until you sell your home. Additionally, the Existing Home Owner Policy offered by First Canadian Title protects you from title problems such as defects that would have been revealed by an up-to-date survey, title defects including mortgages that were discharged but remain on title, and certain construction liens. If you are interested please contact Stanley Landau.