FCT Strengthens Underwriting Guidelines

FCT strengthens Underwriting Guidelines to address Growing Incidents of Commercial Real Estate Fraud

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO, February 28, 2013 – FCT (First Canadian Title), Canada’s leading provider of title insurance continues to revise its guidelines to track the growing incidents of commercial real estate fraud.

In past years, FCT has primarily reported on residential real estate fraud – fraud committed against homeowners and their lenders – in order to advise the public on how to protect themselves from becoming victims of real estate fraud. In 2012, with the growing incidents of commercial frauds, FCT is now alerting purchasers of commercial properties, commercial lenders and their legal counsel about the increasing number of incidents.

“In 2012, FCT’s commercial underwriting team suspected fraud in commercial transactions valued at $28 million. These frauds represented a tiny percentage, less than 1% of the commercials deals that FCT underwrote in 2012. However they average a potential $3.5 million loss to a commercial lender, so the impact of one commercial fraud can be substantial,” stated Eric Haslett, Vice President & Chief Underwriter at FCT.

In contrast, FCT suspected fraud in residential deals that were valued at a total of $23.5 million. The average suspected residential fraud is estimated at approximately one-tenth the value of an average suspected commercial fraud.

“With our national presence and underwriting expertise, we track trends and adapt them into our underwriting processes. While I don’t want to tip off fraudsters as to what we are tracking, I will say that we are particularly concerned about transactions involving vacant commercial land. We subject these deals to extra scrutiny’” said Mr. Haslett, “We want purchasers of commercial properties, commercial lenders and their legal counsel to know that when it comes to their deals we are just as vigilant on commercial as on residential transactions. We constantly monitor trends and update our underwriting processes with a view to protect their interests.”

About FCT

Founded in 1991, FCT is an Oakville, Ontario based company with over 800 employees across the country. FCT provides industry-leading title insurance, default solutions and other real-estate-related services to more than 300 lenders, 15,000 legal professionals and 5,000 recovery professionals, as well as real estate agents, mortgage brokers and builders, nationwide.

For more information on FCT, please visit the company website at www.FCT.ca.

FCT has been recognized as one of the 50 most engaged workplaces in Canada in 2012 by Achievers. The FCT group of companies includes FCT Insurance Company Ltd. which provides title insurance, with the exception of commercial policies, which are provided by the Canadian branch of First American Title Insurance Company. Services are provided by First Canadian Title Company Limited.

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Media contact:

Wendy Rinella
Corporate Affairs
FCT
905 287-3379
wrinella@firstcdn.com