Fighting Real Estate Fraud
In 2004, the Law Society issued a Notice to the Profession warning real estate practitioners about real estate fraud. Lawyers should review this Notice to the Profession.
The Law Society released an information report on mortgage fraud (pdf) in March 2005 that summarizes the issue and its scope, gives an overview of the mortgage process and opportunities for fraud to occur, and summarizes what the Law Society and its partners in the mortgage industry are doing to prevent and reduce fraud.
The Law Society has developed a number of resource materials to assist lawyers involved in real estate transactions to heighten their sensitivity to the warning signs of fraud, to learn ways to protect themselves, and to comply with their ethical obligations if acting in a transaction where a client is or may be committing a fraud.
The Law Society’s Practice Management Helpline is also available to provide assistance to lawyers with ethical questions on the topic and can be contacted at 416 947-3315 or toll-free at 1-800-668-7380, ext 3315.
Recognizing Real Estate Fraud – Red Flag Indicators
- Practice Tips: Recognizing Fraud in Real Estate Transactions (PDF)
- Red Flags that Should Prompt Questions and Due Diligence when Dealing with Real Estate Transactions (PDF)
- Sample Fact Scenarios (PDF)
Ethical Obligations – Fraud in Real Estate Transactions
- Q & As – Fraud in Real Estate Transactions: Some Ethical Issues (PDF)
- Q & As – Two Lawyer Rule regarding transfers of title to real property (PDF)
- Understanding the Two-Lawyer Rule: The "Related Persons" Exception (PDF)
- Q & As – Prohibition on Cash Transactions (PDF)
Resources to Help Fight Fraud
- Real Estate Fraud – Being Creative and Fighting Back (PDF)
- Law Society Residential Real Estate Practice Guidelines (PDF)
- Due Diligence in Mortgage or Loan Transactions (PDF)
- The Many Faces of Fraud (PDF), LAWPRO Magazine (Volume 3, issue 2:June 2004)
- Fraud Smarts – Identity / Personation / Mortgage Fraud – A page From CLE, April 2005
- Is there a Crook in the Firm (PDF), E. Susan Elliott LSM, LAWPRO Magazine, December 2004
- Protecting Your Identity – Ministry of Government Services