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Average “Suspect” Mortgage Size Soars

Definition of fraudHere’s an interesting stat from a recent Globe and Mail story:

“In 2013 alone, [First Canadian Title] declined to insure a mortgage twice a week based on the suspicion of fraud; the average mortgage was $360,000.”

Oakville, ON-based First Canadian Title (FCT), a leading title insurance company, saw about the same number of suspicious mortgage transactions in 2014, but with one big difference.

The average mortgage size involved in shady deals rocketed from $360,000 in 2013 to $560,000 last year. That change seems almost too big and too fast to believe, but that’s what FCT’s stats show.

“It is likely a factor of home prices increasing and fraudsters feeling confident that their mortgage application will be seen as ‘average’ in that market, and hopefully fly under cover,” says FCT spokesperson Wendy Rinella. “We know they do their research.”

FCT’s record high for the average suspicious mortgage size was actually higher in 2010 ($618,794), but, “The trend was that they were dropping in recent years from 2011-2014,” Rinella says.