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Housing lies and the lying liars who lie them: Survey looks at those who fudge the numbers to get a mortgage

Last Updated Sep 9, 2019 at 7:08 am PST

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Survey finds 23 per cent of millennials think it's ok to inflate their annual income on a mortgage application

Fudging income numbers on a mortgage application is fraud, can over-extend applicant who could fall behind on payments

About 70 per cent of people across Canada think it's on the federal government to do more to help home buyers: survey

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Honesty may be the best policy — just not for millennials who want a mortgage.

A new survey finds almost one-quarter of Gen Y respondents think it’s okay to inflate their annual income when applying for a mortgage.

“And that’s nearly double the percentage of the general population, which was at 12 per cent,” explains Julie Kuzmic with Equifax, the company behind the survey.

She says fudging income numbers when completing a mortgage application is fraud, but it also becomes a slippery slope for these people who may end up stretching themselves too thin.

“I’m concerned for the applicants themselves, because many people aren’t aware that there can be repercussions to that decision down the line if in fact they aren’t able to make the payments that they have been approved for.”

Kuzmic says it’s the job of lenders to call people out on this.

“I know a number of the banks and other lenders that we work with do have very rigorous processes in place where they are asking for pay stubs and other forms of income verification in order to ensure the information they have is accurate, because they certainly don’t want to take on the risk either of giving a loan to somebody who’s not going to be able to pay it back,” she adds.

Just more than 15 per cent of those surveyed say they think mortgage fraud is a victimless crime.

Meantime, two-thirds of respondents say they believe foreign investment is the principal cause for higher prices. About 70 per cent of people across Canada surveyed say they think it’s on the federal government to do more to help home buyers.

-With files from Richard Dettman and Mike Lloyd