Solicitors should take a lead role in tackling mortgage fraud

Solicitors should take a lead role in tackling mortgage fraud

The Chairman of the Conveyancing Association, Eddie Goldsmith, is asking that firms of Solicitors and Licensed Conveyancers take “a more definitive role” when it comes to tackling mortgage fraud, claiming that “if conveyancers don’t take action lenders will simply continue reducing their panels.”
The Conveyancing Association believes that conveyancers could play an important role in connection with mortgage fraud because of how the fraud is carried out and state that “practices that don’t have suitable procedures in place are often at a higher risk of unwittingly causing such threats”.
According to Eddie Goldsmith a major cull by lenders, in 2010, which reduced the number of conveyancing firms on their panels, is likely to happen again and those at risk will be those who are unable to demonstrate that they have the relevant procedures in place to minimise mortgage fraud.
Eddie Goldsmith said:
“The CA believes that the industry needs to recognise that we don’t have a divine right to be on lenders’ panels and therefore need to accept that lenders must manage their risks to reduce fraud. We understand and respect that lenders will only want to work with conveyancers who offer a superior service, can demonstrate high quality standards, competence and probity of staff, financial stability, and good management of staff and administrative processes.
The issue of mortgage fraud isn’t going to disappear overnight and no-one is naive enough to believe it can be fully eradicated. However, the CA and its members are committed to working with brokers and lenders to improve the situation. If our industry works together to raise standards and improve due diligence, this will go a long way in building the confidence of lenders and consumers in the integrity of services provided by the profession.”
Whilst I agree that conveyancers and solicitors need to have systems in place to protect against mortgage fraud surely some of the responsibility for that protection sits squarely on the shoulder of the lenders? 
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