Other Steps You Can Take in Real Estate Fraud Situations

Here are some other things you can do to prevent real estate fraud:

  • If you think a property is about to be dealt with fraudulently, you can register an alert against title with the Land Title and Survey Authority Activity Advisory and receive an e-mail within 20 minutes of any filing made with respect to the property (this registration is done through myLTSA).
  • You can also contact the Registrar of Land Titles in the particular jurisdiction and see what other things he or she may suggest (e.g., in the right circumstances, a caveat might be filed to prohibit dealings with the property). Note: in some circumstances, you may not be able to discuss this situation freely with the Registrar without breaching client confidentiality.
  • At any time (unless you believe you need your own counsel), contact the LSBC, explain the nature of the problem and ask to be directed to the staff lawyer most able to assist (even if you are convinced there has been a fraud, contact a staff lawyer before, for example, contacting the police as client confidentiality must be maintained even in a crime situation except if disclosure of the confidential information is necessary to prevent a crime involving death or serious bodily harm. 6
  • In all situations where you believe your client is instructing you to assist him or her with a situation that smells of fraud, withdraw your services before you are led too far into the situation, and obtain assistance from another lawyer with withdrawal, as necessary.

6 See Chapter 3, rule 3.3-3 of the BC Code.