Real Estate Fraud Law Gives Homeowners Peace Of Mind

Archived Release

Real Estate Fraud Law Gives Homeowners Peace Of Mind

Ministry of Consumer Services

New Law Ensures Homeowners Will Not Lose Homes To Fraud QUEEN'S PARK, Feb. 5 - The Ontario government is building on its consumer protection accomplishments by giving individual homeowners real assurance that they will not lose their homes to fraudsters, said Government Services Minister Gerry Phillips today. "Last December, the government passed the Consumer Protection and Service Modernization Act, 2006, to ensure that people will not lose their homes because of fraud," Phillips said. "This is real action for homeowners who want to know that the homes they work so hard for are protected." Some of the key results delivered by the act include: - Making it clear that a property will not be lost as a result of the registration of a falsified mortgage, fraudulent sale or a counterfeit power of attorney - As of February 1, 2007, streamlining the Land Titles Assurance Fund, so that in standard cases of fraud the title is returned and a decision on compensation is made within 90 days - Increasing fines for real estate fraud to $50,000 from $1,000. Contact Info "The Law Society welcomes the significant steps taken by the Ontario government to combat real estate fraud. We will continue to work with the government and to encourage the other players involved in real estate transactions to do everything they can to protect Ontarians and reduce the risk of real estate fraud," said Malcolm Heins, Chief Executive Officer, Law Society of Upper Canada. To give homeowners further peace of mind that their homes will not be lost to fraud, the government is developing stronger standards for powers of attorney and measures to restrict access to the electronic land registration system. "We're working hard to make sure consumers are protected in a fair and competitive marketplace," said Phillips. "Ontario has some of the toughest consumer protection measures in the world, and we know that the best weapons against fraud are educated consumers and homeowners." To help homeowners educate themselves, the government is releasing two brochures about real estate fraud and the Land Titles Assurance Fund. They include practical information and tips for individual homeowners to help them avoid becoming a victim of identity theft and real estate fraud, guide them in detecting fraud early and assist them if they become prey to fraudsters. The brochures are now on the ministry's website and will soon be available at MPP offices, ServiceOntario and Government Information Centres and Land Registry Offices across Ontario. For a list of locations or to download a copy, visit the ministry website at www.mgs.gov.on.ca. Disponible en français www.mgs.gov.on.ca For further information: Paul de Zara, Minister's Office, (416) 327-3072 - office, (647) 388-9671 - cell; Ciaran Ganley, Ministry of Government Services, (416) 325-8659 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Paul de Zara, Minister's Office, (416) 327-3072 - office, (647) 388-9671 - cell; Ciaran Ganley, Ministry of Government Services, (416) 325-8659