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Title. It's a small word-five little letters-but its significance is huge when it comes to owning your home. When you buy a home, you buy the title to the property. It's a legal term-title-that means you're registered as the owner of the property.
What is title insurance?
No one will call you crazy if you're not familiar with title insurance. As insurance goes, title insurance is relatively new; it first appeared in Canada in the early 1990's.
So what is title insurance? In a nutshell, it provides you with coverage for losses related to title fraud, survey issues, problems with the title on your property and challenges to the ownership of your home. For the first time ever, Kanetix.ca is offering title insurance quotes from the leading provider of title insurance in Canada, FCT. FCT's Title Fraud Protection+ is a title insurance policy that is unlike traditional coverage products in that it does not just cover things that may happen in the future (e.g. title fraud), but also covers title defects that have already occurred in the past, prior to purchasing your home.
Title Insurance is also unique from most other types of insurance policies, because it is a one-time premium for a policy that's valid for as long as you own the property.
- Understanding Title Insurance (in .pdf), produced by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.
Title fraud protection+ for existing homeowners
The title insurance product featured through Kanetix.ca is Title Fraud Protection+ by FCT.
Even if you've owned your home for years, title insurance can help protect you from the mistakes of past owner's (e.g. zoning issues and encroachments) and also title fraud (learn how to protect yourself from being a victim of real estate title fraud at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.)
FCT's Title Fraud Protection+ offers homeowners coverage from losses resulting from real estate title fraud plus other common title issues/defects that were not known when you purchased your home.
It doesn't sound possible but it is; fraudsters-through identity theft, impersonation, and forgery-can steal the rights to your home's title or mortgage your property. It's all illegal of course and for the victims, it is devastating because of the emotional and financial toll.
- Identity theft and impersonation: It's reported that identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada and the United States; all it takes is some stolen (or fake) identification and documents. With this in one hand, an unscrupulous individual can get one-or multiple-mortgages for your property and walk away with the cash in the other hand.
- Forgery: With forgery, swindlers register fake documents to discharge an existing mortgage, transfer the title to themselves, and then register a new mortgage against the property's title. The proceeds of this devious act, of course, end up in the fraudster's pocket.
As bad as it all sounds, it can get even worse. If you're a victim of real estate title fraud, the burden of proof is on you to show that an actual crime has happened. With Title Fraud Protection+, FCT will defend you during enforcement proceedings initiated by the mortgage lender and help you get the fraudulent mortgage taken from the property's title and title restored in your name. You'll be protected from financial losses related to the fraudulent mortgage, and legal fees and other costs incurred while proving that you are indeed the rightful owner.
Your home and the property don't look defective, so what's the deal? You may be forced to address mistakes made by past owners of your home that you did not know about when you bought your home. And, this can get costly.
A few common municipal and encroachment examples include:
- Improvements or additions to your home that were undertaken and completed without the proper permits. Your municipality could force you to fix the situation.
- Garages and sheds built on your neighbour's property may need to be moved, modified or even removed entirely if a previous owner built without verifying where the lot lines were or decisions were made based on an out-of-date survey/real property report.
Reduce your risk and protect your home ownership with title insurance. Title Fraud Protection+ from FCT protects you from all of this and more.
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