Mortgage fraud increasing

High-risk and fraudulent mortgage activity is increasing with a 52 per cent surge in fraudulent applications since 2013.

Equifax Canada warns that the biggest issues seen by investigators are fraudulent account statements and fraudulent documents and Ontario is the worst offending province, accounting for 67 per cent of the fraudulent applications.

"We're certainly seeing more mortgage applications being flagged as suspicious by our reporting institutions," said Tara Zecevic, Vice President, Customer Insight at Equifax Canada. "While we cannot entirely attribute these increases to consumers overstating personal income or falsifying applications, we do want to remind people that there are serious consequences for making false or inaccurate claims on any loan or mortgage applications. Not only will it stretch your finances, it is in breach of your contractual obligations with the lender, and simply put, it's against the law."

Equifax asked consumers for their views on mortgage fraud and found that 13 per cent believed telling a ‘white lie’ was ok on a mortgage application with 8 per cent admitting doing so and 16 per cent believing it is a victimless crime.

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