Toronto (September 9, 2019) – The results of the most recent Equifax survey suggest that nearly a quarter of Canada’s millennials (23 per cent) think, it’s okay to lie about their income on mortgage appications. That is almost double the amount of the general population (12 per cent). The results might be influenced by the rising cost of buying a home today, said the credit rating agency in a press release on Monday. The believed victimless crime might leave some applicants with legal consequences or ruin their credit history as soon as they realize that they cannot pay the mortgage on time, the agency warns.
Someone who is inflating their annual income when applying for a mortgage is committing fraud since they misrepresent, lie or exaggerate ‘information to obtain a mortgage that would not have been granted if the truth had been told.’, explains Equifax in their press release. However, mortgage fraud is often (16 per cent) seen as a victimless crime especially among millennials (23 per cent). ‘What some may see as a little white lie during the mortgage application process could have legal consequences or become a very hard lesson for people to learn if they cannot keep up with their mortgage payments.’, warns Julie Kuzmic, Director of Consumer Advocacy at Equifax Canada.
Equifax explains the numbers with today’s rising house prices and the fear to miss out on buying the house of their dreams when not being approved for a mortgage loan. Respectively, 78 per cent of those surveyed think ‘the federal government should help homebuyers in some way, with 70 per cent saying they should do more to help first-time homebuyers’. To address the challenges of high costs buying a home today, the mortgage stress test should be relaxed for first time buyers, say 48 per cent of the surveyed people and 47 per cent say it should be relaxed for all homebuyers. Even 38 per cent think that ‘the federal government should eliminate the stress test entirely’.
The survey was conducted online by the credit rating agency Equifax. They asked 1,545 Canadians from across the country in a representative sample specific questions about mortgage fraud, the challenges of buying a home, and general consumer credit knowledge, according to the company’s press release.