Manitoba: Tough New Law Would Fight Mortgage Fraud

Family Services and Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh introduced legislation that would amend the Real Property Act to provide Manitobans with better protection from fraudulent real estate transactions. The legislation would also reduce the red tape and paperwork that businesses have to deal with in certain types of real estate transactions.

“Real estate fraud is a growing concern across Canada,” said Mackintosh. “It occurs when someone falsely claims ownership of a property and then sells that property to an unsuspecting buyer. The victims are the buyer, the actual legal owner and, under some circumstances, innocent parties drawn into financing a fraudulent transaction.”

The proposed amendments would streamline legal processes involved in correcting land titles, allowing timely decisions on whether an original owner or an innocent buyer should retain the title to the property and who would receive financial compensation for losses. Amendments would also allow those who suffer real estate fraud loss to claim compensation from the assurance fund immediately instead of first suing a wrongdoer and attempting debt collection. In return, the assurance fund would assume the right to collect from the wrongdoer.

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