Mortgage fraud has become a billion-dollar industry in Canada and a growing concern to the real estate and financial sectors, CanWest News Service reported Friday. Although the monetary impact is difficult to quantify, such organizations as the Quebec Association of Real Estate Agents and Brokers suggest mortgage fraud amounts to be an estimated $1.5 billion a year across the country, reports said. The Real Estate Council of Alberta estimates there was about $275 million in fraudulent mortgage loans in Alberta in the fiscal year 2001-2002 based on transactions investigated, according to reports. In the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has said there is a "growing epidemic of mortgage fraud" in the United States, with reported losses from such fraud soaring to more than $1 billion in the fiscal year 2005, up from $429 million in 2004. Impelled by concerns about issues including mortgage fraud and predatory lending, a number of states are introducing legislation to cr...
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