In short, the answer to this question is no! Under no circumstances should the mortgagee ask, or indeed rely upon, the solicitor for the mortgagor to act as its agent for VOI purposes. The reason for this is obvious; there is an untenable and irreconcilable conflict of interest in the solicitor for the mortgagor donning two hats and purporting to act for both the mortgagor and mortgagee.
Verification of Identity: when do mortgagees need to make further enquiries?
Verification of Identity (VOI) is now an entrenched practice in property transactions across all Australian jurisdictions. The obligation imposed on mortgagees is to take “reasonable steps” to identify the person signing the land registry document and to establish their right to deal with the property. This article will aim to remove some of the confusion about the VOI process as well as raise some considerations for mortgagees as to when they may be required to make further enquiries as to a mortgagor’s identity.