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Fraud: Mortgages

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 17 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many cases of fraudulent registration in the Land Registry of ownership of another person’s property and associated mortgage fraud occurred in each of the last three years. (158304)

It is not known how many applications have been made to Land Registry in each of the last three years that have resulted in a fraudulent registration, whether in respect of the ownership of land or of a mortgage on land. This is because, firstly, there may be cases that have not come to light, and, secondly, Land Registry does not presently keep a central record of all frauds that affect the register of title. Land Registry does keep a central record of all cases where it pays statutory compensation, including those which result from fraud. It is also in the process of developing a more comprehensive method of recording fraud, whether or not it results in the payment of compensation.

Any owner of land who suffers loss as a result of the registration of a forged transfer or mortgage through no fault of their own is entitled to be compensated for that loss by Land Registry.

Land Registry paid statutory compensation as a result of fraud on a total of 15 claims in 2004-05, 31 claims in 2005-06 and 24 claims in 2006-07. To put this into context, there are currently more than 21 million registered titles and, in each of the last three years, Land Registry received around 4 million applications to register transfers for value and mortgages.