Thursday, December 10, 2009

Preventing Mortgage Fraud

Present confidential financial and personal information only to someone you trust and who works for the mortgage company in your behalf.

Research lender history and establish that the lender is licensed and in good standing before giving out any information.  If you have doubts, call your state department of banking and finance
Be thoroughly honest and let the mortgage company know you are holding them to the same standard. When completing the loan application and answering questions during the application process do not guess at it. If a company rep tries to put down information that is inaccurate understand that this act gives him leverage and a feeling of liberty to rack of fees as if you are paying him to do you a favor and get this loan through. Accept no illegal favors!

Keep copies of everything you provide to the Lender and everything you are required to sign.
Review the Good Faith Estimate of Closing Costs that is required to be given to you by your Lender. Popint out fees you do not understand or with which you disagree. Require written confirmation of the interest rate lock-in once you have agreed to lock in a rate.

Read and understand all of the documents presented to you before you sign them and always questions even if you think you understand.
By all means proceed with caution if you are not required to put money down – or, even worse, if you receive money back

Do not create a false identity or use someone else’s identity or social security number to obtain a loan.

Do not provide, or pay anyone else to provide, false information about your employment, income, credit or bank

Do not accept payment for use of your name, credit or social security number.

If a loan has false or misleading information including appraisals with inflated values do not approve the processing of such loan.  If down payments or earnest money did not come from you, or rental lease information is inaccurate do not close the agreement.

Down payments go to your real estate agent or the seller of the home you are purchasing. If you have doubts about who really owns the home you are purchasing, call the county tax assessor to verify the current owner and find out when they took ownership.

Sign your own papers during the loan process and allow nothing to process without your written approval and authorization.

Be wary of any incentive offer to get “paid” for purchasing a home. The buyer brings a certified check to closing.

Additional fees or costs associated with the loan after the loan closes are likely bogus. If someone asks you to do this, refuse and obtain legal advice. Find a local mortgage fraud department or lawyer.