Thursday, September 24, 2015

Brits Not Immune To Title Hijacking Ripoffs; Indemnification Payouts By UK Land Registry Ripoff Reimbursement Fund At Three Year High & Could Get Even Worse, Says Title Insurer

In London, England, BT.com reports:
  • There's been an increase in property title fraud over the past few years, a Freedom of Information request submitted by specialist insurer Titlesolv has revealed.

    A total of £23.3 million-worth of claims were received by the Land Registry last year, with almost £10 million paid out in compensation. That's a three-year high.

    The Land Registry Indemnity Fund has received more than £59 million in claims since 2012 and paid out more than £31 million against them since 2012, the request revealed.

    What's more, Titlesolv reckons it could get even worse.

    Chris Taylor, chief executive of the firm, said: “If interest rates go up, and more mortgages fall into arrears, the registry is likely to face another wave of claims as defaults tend to reveal or highlight allegations of fraud."

    What is property title fraud?

    Property title fraud occurs when someone takes out a mortgage claiming to be the property owner when they’re not, keeping the mortgage money for themselves.

    It creates a significant problem for the person who actually owns the property as they have to answer to the mortgage company that thinks that they owe money.

    The mortgage company is the worst off as it has no claim over the property in question. The Land Registry also has to pay out compensation for adding a non-proprietor to the property deed.

    This type of fraud can take quite a long time to spot. It only becomes suspicious when the mortgage firm realises that repayments aren’t being made and they try to trace the property ‘owner’.

    What to do if you’re affected

    If you think you're a victim of property title fraud contact the Land Registry as soon as possible and then get in touch with the police to report the fraud. It’s also worth contacting a solicitor to see if they can help with your situation.

    To prevent fraud in the first place, you can enter a Restriction at the Land Registry which stops anyone placing a charge against the property without your consent. You’ll need to fill in an RX1 form, with a processing fee of £40.

    You can also get an official Land Registry title document for as little as £3.

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