For first time home buyers, the search for a new home can be exciting. But novice home buyers are also at a greater risk of becoming victims of mortgage fraud. It’s best to do your
homework before you leap into the home buying process.
Who are the fraudsters? Fraud perpetrators can be hard to spot. While there are many reputable licensed realtors and loan officers, there are others who are cunning con artists bent on enticing you with attractive interest rates and low payments – leading you in the wrong direction. The FBI defines Mortgage Fraud as material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission relating to a real estate transaction, which is relied on by one or more parties to the transaction.
Take the Red Flag Test: Ask yourself these questions before signing
• Did you carefully check references to ensure you are working with reputable, licensed real estate professionals – agents, lenders, appraisers?
• Were you encouraged to make false income statements on a loan application?
• Are you responding to a promised offer: No Credit, No Problem or No Down Payment required?
• Were you pressured to sign documents you didn’t understand?
• Were you asked to pay fees in advance of services?
Watch the NCPC Public Service Announcement on Mortgage Fraud to learn more.
Tools and information to help you avoid scams, get prevention resources, and find help if you or someone you know has already fallen victim are available in a free Mortgage Fraud Online Toolkit.