Thursday, 24 May 2007 09:41
Written by Jillian Austin
It works the same unfortunate way as most other forms of identity theft: someone obtains your personal information (credit card info, ID, etc.) and assumes your identity. In this type of fraud, a mortgage is taken out under the homeowner’s name, and in most cases the homeowners don’t know a thing until the mortgage is defaulted and the money disappears, along with the culprits.
The scary thing is that even a fraudulently signed mortgage can be binding, leaving the innocent homeowner hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
Wayne McConnell, president of A+ Financial Services in Winnipeg says that it can be easy for people to gain personal information over the phone and Internet, but that there are preventative measures that can be taken to make sure this doesn’t happen to you. McConnell says to keep your records in a safe place, shred any documents that have your personal information on it and periodically check the status of your credit and titles.
For complete peace of-mind, you can get your title insured. All it takes is a one-time fee of $200 to $400 (for an average property) and you and your home are safe in the event of fraud. Julia Jones, assistant vice president, Western region for First Canadian Title says that your title will be defended if a mortgage suddenly appears under your name, and no matter what the outcome, you would be compensated 100 per cent for your losses.
So whether you’re just buying your first home, or have been living in the same house for a decade, you can get your title insured. For more information, check out protectyourtitle. com.