Conveyancing fraud and how to avoid it:
Posted on 7th February 2022
This content will be shown in the summary on the main blog page. Click on this text to edit it.
Our conveyancing solicitors have seen recent news articles regarding the scary outcome of conveyancing fraud, and how easily fraud can occur. In the story, a man returned home from a trip to find that somebody else was living in his house when he returned. The Reverend had unknowingly been the victim of identity fraud, by somebody who had impersonated the man and sold his properly while he was completely unaware.
With this recent story, our conveyancing solicitors have seen first-hand how clients are understandably concerned about fraud occurring during the conveyancing process. The mandatory ID checks that are in place in the conveyancing process as a way to avoid fraud can actually make clients feel more concerned about the prospect of conveyancing fraud, should their ID and personal details get into the wrong hands.
Dreamvar conveyancing fraud case:
The Dreamvar case is one of the most well-known cases of identity fraud in the conveyancing world. In the case, the conveyancing solicitors acting on behalf of the buyers of a property that was fraudulently sold were found to be liable for the losses of their client, in a hearing by the Court of Appeal in 2018.
This landmark case essentially set a precedent going forward, which meant that conveyancing solicitors were effectively the guarantors in conveyancing transaction, and that it was their responsibility to ensure that the transaction is genuine. In the hearing, it was revealed that the money for the transaction was lost, with the buyers suing the imposter’s conveyancing solicitor and estate agent, while the buyers also sued their own solicitor. Both cases against the imposter’s solicitors and estate agent failed, while the buyer’s solicitors were found liable for their breach of trust in paying out the money and were ordered to pay £1m.
One insightful passage from the hearing came from the High Court, in saying that ‘“It is common ground that (the buyer’s solicitor) is insured for events such as this, and that its insurance cover is sufficient to cover in full the loss suffered, should it not be excused from liability. In terms of balancing the relative effects or consequences of the breach of trust, it is apparent that they (with or without insurance) are far better able to meet or absorb it than Dreamvar (the buyer themselves’).
This case was a tricky one regarding liability, with the court left to answer who, amongst a number of innocent victims of the imposter’s fraud, should bear the loss? Essentially, the conveyancing solicitors were the ones to bear the repercussions in this case.
Avoiding conveyancing fraud:
It is because of cases such as those mentioned above that our conveyancing solicitors, and conveyancing solicitors up and down the country, have such strict measures in place regarding to checking the identity of clients, and taking all possible measures to avoid conveying fraud.
In order to help our clients with this, our conveyancing solicitors always ensure regular communication with our clients about what we need from them, what we will be asking from them, and when we will be asking for it. Trust us when we say, that we will not proceed with a matter, until we are truly comfortable with the identity of all parties to the conveyancing transaction.
We are always on hand at the other end of the phone, or in our offices, to speak clients through a conveyancing process, or carry it out face to face, so that our clients feel as comfortable and safe as possible throughout the conveyancing process. Our team also have a number of systems and checks they have in place to prevent scams or cybercrime, which we are always happy to discuss with potential clients before we are instructed to help with their conveyancing matter.
Contact our leading conveyancing solicitors:
Our leading conveyancing solicitors in Preston go above and beyond to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to prevent conveyancing fraud of any kind to our clients. If you are looking for a reliable, friendly conveyancing solicitor to guide you through the conveyancing process step-by-step, and who will be on-hand at any time to answer any questions or concerns that you might have, then look no further than MG Legal’s conveyancing solicitors.
If you have any questions about how our conveyancing solicitors work, about buying a house, or about how our conveyancing solicitors can help with your house purchase, do not hesitate to contact us online here, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and hear back from a conveyancing solicitor within one working hour. Or to learn more about our clear, fixed fee rates for buying a house, or any other conveyancing matter, see this here.
Share this post: