Equifax data found a 52% increase in suspected fraudulent mortgage applications since 2013, according to a new report from the credit reporting agency.
"We're certainly seeing more mortgage applications being flagged as suspicious by our reporting institutions," Tara Zecevic, vice president, customer insight at Equifax Canada, said. "While we cannot entirely attribute these increases to consumers overstating personal income or falsifying applications, we do want to remind people that there are serious consequences for making false or inaccurate claims on any loan or mortgage applications.
“Not only will it stretch your finances, it is in breach of your contractual obligations with the lender, and simply put, it's against the law."
The provinces with the highest instances of flagged applications are Ontario (67%) and BC (12%), which suggests affordability issues are contributing to the increase in Canadians fudging their documents.
The study also found one-in-five Canadians who do not have a mortgage admitted to feeling nervous they will never own a home.
A whopping 84% believe homeownership costs are too high for first-time buyers.
Other highlights include;
- 13 per cent of Canadians indicated they felt it was okay to tell 'a little white lie' when applying for a mortgage to get the house they want.
- 16 per cent said they believe mortgage fraud is a victimless crime
- 8 per cent admitted to misrepresenting the facts on a credit or loan application
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Instances of falsifying documents are on the rise particularly in expensive housing markets