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July 02, 2021

Duped, woman now on the hook for mortgage fraud

A Toronto woman is on the hook for $95,000 after failing to realize she was being tricked into a mortgage fraud.

Angela Isaacs accepted $6,000 to co-sign a stranger's mortgage and signed the documents without actually reading them, according to the Toronto Star. The house was then flipped and she was stuck with the bill.

What’s worse, the Ontario Superior Court ruled that she owes 6.3 per cent annual interest on the $95,000 loss going back two years, as well as $13,500 in legal fees incurred by the lender, the Royal Bank of Canada.

It all started when Isaacs was bemoaning her lot at her local Tim Hortons. The guy in the next booth told her she could make a quick $4,000 for co-signing a mortgage for six months so a man with a poor credit rating could buy a house. She initially said no but cannily went ahead after he upped the offer to $6,000.

Although neither the realtor nor lawyer involved twigged to what was going on either, the judge ruled that Isaacs was in the best position to detect the fraud, and was therefore ultimately responsible.

“She was foolish to sign documents she did not read and did not understand,” the judge wrote. “She cannot have believed this transaction was completely risk free to her. She was not prepared to take the risk for $4,000, but changed her mind when she was offered $6,000.”

All this pales in comparison to claims lodged by the Bank of Montreal in a recent lawsuit, however.

There, a whole host of con artists allegedly bought homes and flipped them at pumped-up prices to so-called straw buyers, who remortgaged them for thousands of dollars more than they were worth.

Once the loan was received, the buyer would default on the mortgage leaving the bank to resell a property worth less than expected.

Other than staying out of Tim Horton’s altogether, here are some tips to help spot potential mortgage fraud.

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...