FBI Mortgage Minute: Application Fraud

Hello. I’m a Special Agent with the FBI. And this is a Mortgage Minute for the Average Joe. Today’s topic – making sure the mortgage application you sign is complete and accurate. More than half of the mortgage fraud cases we work at the FBI involve fraud on the mortgage application. There are lies about how much income the borrower makes, where they work and how much debt they already owe. They also lie about who will occupy the house. Income fraud occurs when the borrower overstates his income in order to qualify for a mortgage. This was very common during the past few years as home values dramatically increased and people bought homes they couldn’t afford. Employment fraud occurs when the borrower lists his employer as a company he doesn’t really work for. In some cases, it’s a fake company all together. Another type of fraud occurs when the borrower does not disclose all of his financial obligations, including other existing mortgages, car loans or credit card debts on the application. Occupancy fraud occurs when the borrower states on the application that they intend to live in the home they are buying when it’s actually an investment property. So before you sign a mortgage application or any other loan documents, carefully review them to make sure they are complete and accurate. If you become aware of mortgage fraud, you are encouraged to contact your local FBI office and report it. This segment of a Mortgage Minute for the Average Joe has been brought to you by the FBI.

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