I’ve recently been researching the idea of mortgage fraud audits for homeowners who may lose their homes soon.
When you have a mortgage fraud audit, someone looks at the documents you should have signed or did sign at closing for signs of fraud. The documents might include the purchase contract, the occupancy certification, the loan application and the closing statement (also known as a HUD 1), according to Jenny Brawley, a mortgage fraud educator from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Signs of mortgage fraud include missing signatures, incorrect loan amounts, falsified employment information and whether the homeowner will live in the home, said Brawley.
Is this something that Joe Homeowner would benefit from doing?
I decided to try to figure out how to find a reputable mortgage fraud auditor. So far I am 0 for 2. I went to a few Web sites and tried calling people but when I called the numbers they weren’t who they said they were. Answering machines picked up the lines and the recordings gave the names of companies different from the Web site names.
I interviewed two companies who conduct these audits and they could not give me tips on how to find a good auditor. Each time, they said “come to us” and “trust us.” They implied that the average consumer does not know the business well enough to assess these things.
In case you’re curious, Endless Fraud Detection charges $695.
Finally I asked Jenny Brawley about the idea. She teaches mortgage fraud auditing classes and when I mentioned the idea to her she found it strange.
“I’ve never really heard of anybody who holds themselves out to be a mortgage fraud auditor,” she said.
And unless someone forged your signature, you are liable for the documents you signed. So even if a mortgage fraud auditor finds a problem, how much recourse do you really have?
So while finding a mortgage fraud auditor is a good idea in theory, it may be difficult to put into practice with confidence. For more information check out this article: www.thinkglink.com/Mortgage_Fraud_080414.html or run a search on this site for mortgage fraud
April 14, 2008.