Four Tips for Avoiding Mortgage Fraud

Dennis Norman

The CEO of Freddie Mac, Ed Haldeman, published a blog post this week which said reports of mortgage fraud were on the rise; there were nearly 38,000 cases of mortgage in the first half of 2010 – a 13 percent increase over the same period in 2009.

 

Haldeman says that the fraudsters prey on the vulnerability of struggling borrowers by offering a quick fix to a homeowner who is under water and desperate.  A common ploy for a scammer is to promise a struggling homeowner mortgage relief of modification of their loan. 

The Freddie Mac blog post offered four tips to avoid Mortgage Fraud:

  • Refuse to do business with anyone who: demands upfront fees, guarantees results, tells you to send your mortgage payments somewhere other than your lender, or asks for the title to your home.
  • Don’t sign anything you don’t understand, and never sign documents with errors or blank spaces. It’s your responsibility to ask questions.
  • Beware of phony credit counseling schemes that charge high fees. These services are often available elsewhere at little or no cost.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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