There’s been a 52% increase in suspected fraudulent mortgage applications since 2013, says Equifax Canada.
Of the applications flagged as being fraudulent, 67% were from Ontario and 12% were from British Columbia.
“We’re certainly seeing more mortgage applications being flagged as suspicious by our reporting institutions,” says Tara Zecevic, the company’s vice-president of customer insight.
Equifax Canada also surveyed people to get their opinion on mortgage fraud and who they trust when buying a home.
Regarding mortgage fraud, 13% of Canadians believe it’s fine to tell “a little white lie” when applying for a mortgage to get the home they want. And 16% say mortgage fraud is a victimless crime. Another 8% admitted they misrepresented the facts on a loan or credit application.
There are serious consequences for making false or inaccurate claims on any loan or mortgage applications, she says. “Not only will it stretch your finances, it is in breach of your contractual obligations with the lender, and simply put, it’s against the law.”
The survey also shows a number of Canadians don’t trust everyone they deal with when buying a home. Forty-four percent trust real estate agents the least, 27% don’t trust other homeowners, 26% distrust home inspectors, 20% don’t trust mortgage brokers, and 16% distrust their bank or insurance agent. Just 9% trust all the professionals involved when purchasing a home.