NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.
Impact of Mortgage Fraud
Mortgage Fraud on the Rise, Purchase Applications Vulnerable (Mortgage News Daily, Oct. 29, 2021)
“Fraud was most prevalent in purchase mortgage applications, one occurrence in every 90 applications, and a 40 percent year-over-year increase. Fraud was indicated in one in every 169 refinance applications, up 19.4 percent on an annual basis.”
Mortgage Fraud (United States Sentencing Commission, Jul. 2021)
In fiscal year 2020, there were 47 mortgage fraud offenders sentenced in the federal system. The number of mortgage fraud offenders has decreased by 86.1% since fiscal year 2016.
Mortgage Fraud Prevention
Mortgage Fraud: What You Need to Know (ROCKET Mortgage, Feb. 27, 2022)
This article explores mortgage fraud, schemes frequented by scammers, and how to avoid getting caught up in them.
Fraud Prevention and Best Practices (Freddie Mac, 2022)
“Be aware of these types of scams and schemes. Sad to say, fraudsters are creative and energetic. So if you’re in the mortgage industry, you need to stay on top of what they’re up to – and what they’re planning next.”
Mortgage Scams (FDIC, May 26, 2021)
“A fairly new and dangerous threat has arisen for homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments and may be at risk of foreclosure – opportunistic companies. They often refer to themselves as a “foreclosure consultant” or “mortgage consultant,” and market themselves as a "foreclosure service", "foreclosure rescue agency" or "loan modification company." They count on homeowners being vulnerable and desperate.”
Fraud Prevention (Federal Housing Finance Agency, Mar. 18, 2021)
“Potential homebuyers, homeowners, distressed homeowners, and individuals employed in the mortgage industry, in particular, should be aware of mortgage fraud schemes perpetrated in connection with home loan origination and throughout the life of a mortgage. Education is key to identify, detect, and prevent mortgage fraud. The information [in this article] can assist mortgage market participants in recognizing common mortgage fraud schemes.”
Mortgage Closing Scams: How to Protect Yourself and Your Closing Funds (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Jun. 3, 2019)
- Identify two trusted individuals to confirm the closing process and payment instructions.
- Write down their names and contact information.
- Before wiring money, always confirm instructions with your trusted representatives.
- Avoid using phone numbers or links in an email.
- Do NOT email financial information.
- Be mindful of phone conversations.
Prevent Loan Scams (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)
To stop scammers, HUD has merged the efforts of NeighborWorks America, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the Homeowners’ HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE to provide an “early warning system” that empowers homeowners to protect themselves and their homes, while providing the tools necessary to take action so that law enforcement agencies across the country can put a stop to these unacceptable practices.
Reporting Mortgage Fraud in the United States
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)*
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20580
*Note: The FTC does not resolve individual consumer problems. The FTC does investigate mortgage fraud with the goal of bringing it to the justice department for legal action; your input will aid the FTC in this process.
U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20535
Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force
Established in November of 2009 by President Obama, the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force is designed with the intent to hold accountable "those who helped bring about the last financial crisis, and to prevent another crisis from happening."
The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization formed in 1963. "The principle mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law. As a leader of the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network (Network), the Lawyers' Committee administers the www.preventloanscams.org website, and leads the enforcement and data collection efforts for the Network."
- If you think you've been scammed or approached by a company or individual promising to help you with your foreclosure, report it today or call 1-888-995-HOPE.
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)
A federal office within the U.S. Department of Justice that "provides federal funds to support victim assistance and compensation programs around the country and advocates for the fair treatment of crime victims."
Better Business Bureau
NOT affiliated with the U.S. government. It is operated by the Council of Better Business Bureaus Inc. and allows businesses and organizations to join as members. The mission of the Better Business Bureau is "to successfully resolve complaints involving buyers and sellers in a fair and timely fashion."
Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)
SIGTARP is “a sophisticated, white-collar law enforcement agency, was established by Congress in 2008 to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse linked to the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) […] SIGTARP conducts criminal and civil investigations related to TARP, audits how TARP assets are managed, and recommends ways to improve the program.”
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Busted: Life Inside the Great Mortgage Meltdown (Audiobook)
Confessions of a Subprime Lender (eBook)
Decoding the New Mortgage Market: Insider Secrets for Getting the Best Loan Without Getting Ripped Off (eBook)
Fraud Prevention for Commercial Real Estate Valuation (eBook)
Mortgage Confidential: What You Need to Know That Your Lender Won't Tell You (eBook)
The Mortgage Encyclopedia: The Authoritative Guide to Mortgage Programs, Practices, Prices and Pitfalls (eBook)
The New Rules for Mortgages (eBook)
Saving Your American Dream: How to Secure a Safe Mortgage Protect Your Home and Improve Your Financial Future (eBook)
As a REALTOR® member benefit, the following resources and more are available for loan through the NAR Library. Items will be mailed directly to you or made available for pickup at the REALTOR® Building in Chicago.
An American Epidemic: Mortgage Fraud- a Serious Business (New York, NY : iUniverse, Inc., 2005)
Financial Shock: A 360 Degree Look at the Subprime Mortgage Implosion, and How to Avoid the Next Financial Crisis (Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press, 2009)
Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.
The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.