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Title Fraud: What Is It and How to Protect Yourself

tite fraud how to protect yourself

Buying property represents a major milestone in many people’s lives and can often symbolize stability and security. Property ownership often brings a sense of pride and accomplishment, provides a space you can call your own and can represent a significant investment in your future.

However, property owners must be mindful of title fraud. The recent high profile news reports of fraudsters stealing homes in Toronto and in BC have caused much anxiety to homeowners everywhere.

So what is title fraud? Title fraud can mean many things, but in general, it is a type of fraud that typically involves the fraudulent sale of a home or refinancing of a property that does not belong to the fraudster who poses as the real owner. It can result in the rightful owners losing their property or being encumbered with a mortgage that is not their own. Title fraud often goes undetected until it is too late – so let’s look at how you can safeguard your property and protect yourself from title fraud.

What Is Title Fraud?

Title fraud is a type of real estate fraud in which someone falsely claims ownership of a property and then sells or uses it as security for a mortgage loan. Title fraud can be committed in several ways, including:

How Can I Protect Myself from Title Fraud?

You would think that the individuals most vulnerable to title fraud are typically first-time homebuyers, the elderly, and those unfamiliar with the real estate purchasing process. While it’s true that these groups can be more susceptible to these scams, the reality is that the risk exists for all homeowners regardless of your experience or your background.

Here are some tips for protecting yourself and your loved ones against title fraud:

What is the impact to innocent home buyers who purchase a home from a fraudster?

Can owners who are defrauded get their house back?

Real Estate Lawyers in Richmond, British Columbia

If you suspect that you are a victim of title fraud, report to the police immediately and consult a real estate lawyer. Reinstating ownership of a property title can be time-consuming and often times, you must act quickly.  At Bernard Lau & Co., we have experience to advise you on protecting yourself from title fraud. If you’d like to learn more about title fraud or would like to order title insurance, call us at 604.285.5242 or complete our contact form to arrange a consultation.

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