The new Conveyancing Quality Scheme, according to the Law Society, can play a role in mortgage fraud in England and Wales.
The publication of the Nation Fraud Authority’s annual fraud indicator shows the cost of fraud in the UK to be at £38 billion with the mortgage fraud element at £1 Billion.
The Law Society, who launched the new quality standard in December 2010, say that Solicitors firms that achieve the new quality standard mark for residential conveyancing will help to raise standards in the home buying market, form a trusted conveyancing community serving clients, lenders and insurers and most importantly deter fraud.
Chief Executive at the Law Society, Desmond Hudson has said that Solicitors already play an important role in the conveyancing process, but that CQS was intended to add an extra barrier to fraud.
"CQS accredited solicitors will have undergone a robust application and assessment procedure, as well as compulsory training, self reporting, random auditing and a requirement to renew their CQS status annually.
A new breed of property solicitor will emerge from the scheme, raising standards in the conveyancing process, help in the collective effort to deter fraud and provide assurance to mortgage lenders that initial vetting checks have been carried out as to a practice’s provenance and quality,
The Law Society is leading the way in ensuring a safer, more efficient conveyancing environment for the benefit of home buyers and we are working collaboratively with lenders and the fraud prevention community to deter fraud together.
Mortgage fraud has become more and more sophisticated. Mortgage application hijacking, law firm cloning or overvaluations are just some of the methods used by fraudsters. To help combat this it is important to ensure a bona fide solicitor is involved in the process early on."
The first wave of CQS law firms are due to be accredited in February.
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