Saturday, July 12, 2008

Title insurance not a necessity for homeowners

We're deeply concerned that The Vancouver Sun's view, expressed in the June 25 editorial, Rising real estate fraud makes title insurance essential, is causing unnecessary panic among B.C. homeowners.

The Land Title and Survey Authority reported that over the past 18 years it processed 15 million transactions. In that time, two claims related to land ownership fraud were resolved and only 14 claims related to mortgage fraud were filed.

Contrary to your assertions, the authority says there's been no increase in the number of fraud cases and that cases of attempted fraud are rare. We're not aware of any cases in B.C. that required an innocent owner to pay off a fraudulently obtained mortgage. Typically, when a homeowner is asked to pay for title insurance on a mortgage, that insurance protects the lending institution, not the homeowner. Realtors have a high level of confidence in our land title system and believe the wholesale promotion of title insurance adds unnecessarily to the cost of homes in B.C.

W. Dave Watt

President, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
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