Major Mortgage Fraud charges from BMO

Yesterday, the CBC reported that the Bank of Montreal was suing several hundred people in an alleged mortgage fraud scam that might well be the largest of its kind ever reported in Canada….

Here are the highlights or lowlights…

  • $140 million involved in this scheme.
  • $70 million of which was phony mortgage money.
  • BMO may lose $30 million.
  • it is alleged that lawyers, mortgage brokers and even some BMO employees took part in this massive fraud.

LOOK AT THE APPRAISAL PROCESS

What’s interesting is that they mention the ‘desktop appraisal services’ in the article… this stood out for me… an appraisal has always been part of the credit underwriting process.. Lenders want to know their security or collateral is of good, marketable quality in case of default….  But with the goal of trying to do more with less, several Banks started offering clients so-called FREE APPRAISALS… that wasn’t entirely true…

Banks must demonstrate to their shareholders that they perform proper due diligence before granting credit.  Rather than pay the $250 or $300 for a standard appraisal, we saw the introduction of a desktop appraisal…  Imagine trying to look at a computer screen and try to determine the value of a property in downtown Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton or any other city where house prices vary from block to block… it’s almost impossible without visiting the property personally…

Hopefully, the senior management at the Banks and other mortgage lending institutions will review their credit adjudication process and realize that it’s worth paying $300 to get that peace of mind…

Playing devil’s advocate, the crooks can employ the services of a corrupt appraiser but most Lenders have an ‘Approved Appraiser’ list…. it’s more difficult to get a bad appraisal this way… ..

MORTGAGE FRAUD IS NOTHING NEW

Mortgage Fraud occurs regularly…  it just doesn’t get reported often…that’s because the banks don’t want the bad publicity.   It would be helpful to know if fraud is growing or slowing….  This latest report doesn’t sound like it’s slowing…

One Response to “Major Mortgage Fraud charges from BMO”

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