“Given the estimated size of mortgage fraud in Canada and the proliferation of the advanced technological means of committing fraud, it is of the highest importance that the tools to combat such fraud continue to evolve as quickly as the methods used to perpetrate it,” Steven Del Duca, the MPP charged with providing Souza with recommendations wrote in his official letter. “As such, I recommend that the government strengthen the current regulations governing standards of practice for mortgage brokerages with respect to fraud prevention by fall 2014.”
One of the regulations of the MBLAA review states that “when conducting a review, the appointees shall solicit the views of the public,” which Del Duca did by reaching out to various members of the mortgage industry, the real estate industry and -- in the case of this particular recommendation for improving fraud prevention – the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC).
“The LSUC suggests a revision of the standards of practice for brokerages, brokers and agents that would strengthen duties in relation to fraud prevention; for example, instituting a requirement to escalate due diligence in instances where fraud ‘red flags’ exist," Del Duca wrote. “The LSUC also advocates for strengthening the requirements for broker and agent supervision and expanding education requirements related to fraud prevention.”
High profile cases of alleged mortgage fraud have made the news
recently, including one about a former senator
and, more bizarrely, one particular individual who used online dating to lure his victims
“During the consultation, the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) observed that ‘mortgage fraud continues to be a significant issue for all stakeholders in the real estate industry’”, Del Duca wrote.
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Souza is currently reviewing recommendations for the MBLAA review; and chief among them is to strengthen fraud prevention measures.