Prices are up, interest rates are rising, and it s tough for a lot of people to qualify to buy a home. So what do some of them do? A growing number of them fake it.
According to mortgage-fraud researchers, income misrepresentations on home-loan applications were up 22.1 percent in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2017. Ominously, most of it is not traceable to criminals trying to bilk lenders out of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars through traditional loan swindles. Rather it s increasingly what researchers call bona fide borrowers who don t have the incomes to qualify but are determined to get a home mortgage, even if they have to mislead the lender.
How s this happening? The Internet makes it easy. Researchers say many applicants can now go online and find sites that will help them create customized pay and employment records, sometimes even confirmable by a phone call by the loan officer to an employer that doesn t exist. Or they borrow thousands of dollars for their down payment but swear to the lender that it s an interest-free present from a cousin or a brother, documented with a genuine-looking gift letter using a form obtainable online.
It s all part of one of the least-reported issues in the real estate market of 2018: Home-purchase mortgage frauds are on the rise and are posing cat-and-mouse challenges to major players, including banks and big investors like Fannie Mae.
Here s a quick overview:
Overall fraud in mortgage applications jumped by 12.4 percent from a year ago, according to realty analytics firm CoreLogic, which has access to a massive national database of loan applications and issues periodic reports on the subject. Falsifying income is the fastest- growing form of application fraud, but other types of misrepresentations also are on the rise, including occupancy fraud, where applicants tell lenders they plan to live in the house they are buying but instead they rent it out, sharply raising the risk of default and loss for the unsuspecting lender.
Fannie Mae recently warned lenders via several alerts about a loan-fraud technique in which applicants claim to work for specific companies and provide income and empl上海千花网龙凤论坛