|This article was published on: 11/01/2005|
Against the law
Educate Yourself on Mortgage Fraud
Mortgage fraud is soaring throughout the country, but you can do something about it.
BY BLANCHE EVANS
With reports of mortgage fraud on the rise all over the country, real estate practitioners must be on guard for this white-collar crime and go out of their way to make sure they aren’t involved in a fraudulent deal.
Ralph Roberts, a Warren, Mich.-based real estate broker who has created a Web site to fight mortgage fraud, says the illegal schemes that have grown more complex over the past several years and are seriously hurting the nation’s communities.
Some 721 cases of mortgage fraud are pending in the United States this year, up from 436 in 2003, according to the FBI. What can you, a real estate practitioner, do about it? You can educate yourself about the common fraud scenarios so you can identify a scheme if you encounter one.
There are more than a half-dozen mortgage fraud schemes that you should look out for, the FBI says. In its 2005 Financial Report to the Public, the FBI said these are the most prevalent:
Tips for Staying Safe From Fraud
There are many precautions you can take to make sure that you and your clients steer clear of deals involving mortgage fraud. Remember that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If you’re aware of a mortgage fraud scheme in your market, you can contact your local FBI office and ask to speak with the white-collar crime unit.
(c) Copyright 2005 Realty Times. Reprinted with permission.
Blanche Evans is the publisher of Agent News and associate editor of Realty Times. She's also the author of The Hottest E-Careers in Real Estate. Contact her at BlancheEvans@realtytimes.com.