Title Fraud & Title Insurance

How thieves stole a Toronto condo in a ‘total condo scam’ and sold it for $970,000


Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association, said title fraud has put victims in a “terrible” situation, while fraudsters have become increasingly sophisticated at forging documents.

The “smart, long-term solution” is to get title insurance, Hudak said “On average, it sells for about $1 for every $1,000 of property value. If your house is worth $500,000, it would cost you $500.”

Hudak said previous types of fraud would involve suspects posing as buyers in order to open a bank account and get a mortgage in someone else’s name, and then make off with the money. But scammers posing as owners are a new phenomenon.

The most vulnerable are owners who have left their home for a long period of time.

“It is important that all the professionals involved, the real estate agent, the lawyer and the banker, check the identification documents very carefully”.

Perry Ehrlich, a British Columbia attorney who has practiced real estate law since 1977, said title insurance is the “new school” for protecting against fraud.

The “old way” was to get a double title from the land registry. “The duplicate title protects you, but keep it in a safe place because without the duplicate, you cannot transfer the title,” Ehrlich said.

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