Land Title fraud

Land Title fraud
Land Title fraud has been in the news a lot recently due to a high-profile case in Ontario. BC’s Torrens Land Ownership System helps alleviate many of these issues.

Land title in British Columbia is based on the principles of the “Torrens system” of land title registration. Torrens devised a method of making the land registry conclusive, as the government or its agent guarantees an indefeasible title. The system eliminates the need for historical searches to prove validity of title.

This type of land title system provides an up-to-date official and public record of who owns the land, and the charges and interests that relate to land titles. The modified Torrens system, as it is called in BC, provides the foundation for all real property business and ownership in the province. It makes land ownership and transfers simple and certain.

It provides certainty to both the seller and the purchaser.

The system, because it is conclusive, also allows title to be “assured”. Such assurance is provided through a guarantee that, should an error be made in a title, individuals who suffer a loss will be compensated. While it can't prevent you from becoming a victim of fraud, it is the single most important thing to mitigate its consequences.

In addition to the Torrens assurance, Home Title Insurance can be purchased which protects you, the home owner and buyer, against challenges to the ownership of your home or from problems related to the title to your home. If a buyer unwittingly buys a home that's been fraudulently listed, the insurance should also protect them. In cases like that, the true owner will likely get their home back and the unwitting buyer will get their money back.

The policy also provides coverage against losses due to title defects, even if the defects existed before you purchased your home.

Lee-Anne MacPherson | Dexter Realty | (604) 816-3047
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