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Canada's seniors are vulnerable to title fraud


With title fraud on the rise in Canada, it’s more important than ever that homeowners get protected. But there’s one group both less likely to have fraud protection, and with properties more attractive to fraudsters: seniors.

According to Statistics Canada, Canadians aged 75 years and older are the only age group whose home ownership rate has grown since 2011. With access to “age in place” services growing more widespread, seniors’ home ownership rate could continue to rise in the future.

It’s great for more seniors to have the independence of living at home and the security of access to home equity. But that long-time home ownership puts seniors at risk of title fraud in two ways:

Seniors are less likely to have title insurance

Title insurance is the single best protection against title fraud, but it’s relatively new to Canada—FCT introduced it in 1991. Since most title insurance is purchased as part of closing on a property, homes bought before 1991 are much less likely to have coverage.

Did you know that you can still get title insurance to protect against fraud, no matter how long you’ve owned your home? Sign up for an existing homeowner’s policy now.

Seniors’ properties are more likely to be attractive to fraudsters

One thing many fraudsters look for is a property that’s either free and clear, or that has most of its mortgage paid off. This lets them steal more equity for the same effort and risk.

Seniors can face worse consequences from title fraud

Many seniors rely on fixed incomes in their retirement. If their identity is used to take out a fraudulent mortgage against their property, the consequences can be disastrous. Restoring the clear title to a property can cost tens of thousands in legal fees, and they can’t mortgage or sell the property to help with that expense.

What’s being done to protect seniors?

Detecting and preventing fraud before it happens is the best way to protect homeowners. Fraudsters are able to make more sophisticated fake IDs than ever before, but the technology legal professionals use to spot the fakes is evolving, as well. New solutions are enabling fast, safe, secure client ID verification, and making it much harder for fraudsters to impersonate homeowners and steal their equity.

How can homeowners protect themselves?

A title insurance policy is the best way to make the victim of title fraud whole, by covering legal fees to get the title restored, or compensating for the cost of a fraudulent home sale.

Even if someone has owned their home for years, it’s not too late to get protected. Existing homeowner’s title insurance provides lifelong coverage against risks including title fraud and home title theft. If you or someone you care about owns a home without title insurance protection, don’t wait—sign up for an existing homeowner title insurance policy today.


Insurance by FCT Insurance Company Ltd. Services by First Canadian Title Company Limited. The services company does not provide insurance products. This material is intended to provide general information only. For specific coverage and exclusions, refer to the applicable policy. Copies are available upon request. Some products/services may vary by province. Prices and products/services offered are subject to change without notice.

®Registered Trademark of First American Financial Corporation.

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