What Is It ?
Mortgage fraud is a crime in which the intent is to materially misrepresent or omit information on a mortagage application to obtain a loan or to obtain a larger loan than would have been obtained had the lender or borrower known the truth.
What Can The Victim Do ?
- Find a real estate attorney who understands mortgage finance as well as criminal fraud, and is comfortable in litigation. Although 97% of all lawsuits settle without going to trial, you need to be prepared in the event your case does go before a judge and jury.
- People who are getting into financial difficulties contact their lender before the situation gets to the foreclosure stage.
How Can You Prevent It ?
- Review the title history of the home you are anticipating to purchase to determine if the property has been sold multiple times within a short period. It could mean that this property has been “flipped,” and the value falsely inflated.
- Know and understand the terms of your mortgage. Check your personal information against the information as listed on the loan documents to ensure it is accurate and complete.
- Never sign any loan documents that contain “blanks.” This leaves you vulnerable to fraud.