FCT Identifies Over $100 Million in Suspected Real Estate Fraud

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO, March 5, 2012 — Every business day for the past three years, FCT has investigated, on average, over $120,000 a day of suspected mortgage and title fraud by working in partnership with legal and lending professionals. FCT is Canada’s leading provider of title insurance and an expert in recognizing and preventing real estate fraud to protect Canadians.

“Since 2009, the fraud‐detecting experts in our underwriting department have uncovered indications of potential fraud valued at over $100 million in residential mortgages and real estate transactions.” says Eric Haslett, FCT’s Vice‐President Legal, Claims and Chief Underwriter. “Recently, we identified two suspicious transactions which had a combined value of over $1,100,000 within a three‐day period alone.”

On February 22, 2012, FCT underwriters flagged a $675,000 mortgage and purchase transaction for several reasons: 1) the address of the borrower’s driver licence was a vacant lot; 2) the signature on the driver’s licence did not match the signature on the amendments to the agreement of purchase and sale; and 3) the height of the purchaser as indicated on his citizenship card was seven centimeters taller than on his driver’s licence. The lawyers and the lender involved in the transaction were alerted to the potential fraud.

On February 24, 2012, FCT alerted lawyers to another potential fraud when its underwriters noticed irregularities on a $499,000 private agreement of purchase and sale. Through further investigation it was determined that the “vendor” was not the owner of the property. As a result of FCT’s underwriting, a “no dealings” indicator has been put on the property in the Land Titles Office and the police are now investigating.

“One of the best ways to protect yourself from being a victim of real estate fraud is to purchase a title insurance policy,” says Haslett. “FCT policy holders have peace of mind, knowing that should their property be subject to fraudulent activity, FCT’s expertise in fraud detection and customer service excellence will ensure they are properly protected. Any fraud claims that do arise, will be resolved quickly and efficiently. It is this world‐class underwriting and passion to serve that makes us truly unique in the marketplace.”

In 2008, FCT launched www.protectyourtitle.com to raise awareness and provide Canadians with tips on how to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of real estate fraud. FCT is also a partner in the Competition Bureau’s Fraud Prevention Forum.

To learn more about title insurance protection from FCT, please visit www.fct.ca or call Direct Sales at 1.800.307.0370.

About FCT (First Canadian Title)

FCT Insurance Company Ltd. is Canada’s leading provider of title insurance offering pre‐eminent protection to its clients for over 20 years through its unmatched underwriting expertise,financial strength and stability. Founded in 1991 and based in Oakville, Ontario, FCT employs approximately 850 people from coast‐to‐coast. Its customers include more than 300 lenders, 12,000 lawyers and notaries nationwide, every major Canadian chartered bank, credit unions, other lending institutions, real estate agents, mortgage brokers and builders.

Insurance is provided by FCT Insurance Company Ltd., with the exception of certain commercial policies, which are provided by the Canadian branch of First American Title Insurance Company. FCT is the Canadian operations of First American Financial Corporation (FAF)’s title insurance arm, the largest global provider of title insurance and settlement services.

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Media contact:

Wendy Rinella
Corporate Affairs, FCT
905.287.3379
wrinella@firstcdn.com

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