nts deliberately misrepresent their intended use of the property is rising the fastest. This includes cases in which borrowers lie about whether they intend to live in a house or rent it out. Applicants who promise lenders that they will live in the property generally qualify for lower interest rates and down payments; rental home investors get charged more.
Application fraud was found in one of every 122 mortgage applications during the first two quarters of 2017, according to Bridget Berg, CoreLogic s senior director of fraud solutions strategy. During the same period in 2016, one of every 143 loan applications had signs of fraud. Among the varied types of fraud tracked by Berg s company were misrepresentations on the sources of down-payment money as well as on income amounts and employment; undisclosed debts; and games played with appraisals.
Other companies that monitor mortgage fraud confirm that fraud has increased and could be headed in worrisome directions. Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American Financial Corp., says the recent massive hack of personal data at credit bureau Equifax, where files on 145.5 million consumers were accessed, could open the door to far more sinister forms of application fraud.
In an interview, Fleming told me that given the unprecedented range and depth of the information stolen in the Equifax breach, the risk of identity-based fraud and misrepresentation is certainly elevated. To the extent that more people have their information out there, the greater the danger, he said.
That risk may be increased further by the apparently slow-moving pace of many American consumers to protect themselves from potential mortgage and credit card fraud by freezing or locking down their files at the three major credit bureaus Experian, Equifax and TransUnion as well at the fourth, albeit smaller bureau, Innovis. According to an estimate by one expert, Avivah Litan of Gartner Research, only about 2 to 3 percent of consumers now have freezes on their credit files, and only around 5 percent ultimately may be jolted into doing so following the Equifax heist. A study by Credit Sesame, which operates a popular online credit scoring and monitoring service, found that as of Sept. 25, less than half of a percent of 4.5 million TransUnion credit profiles had a freeze on their reports, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Why is this troubling from a mortgage fraud perspective? And what s the relevance for me as a homeowner or buyer? With the extraordinarily detailed and sensitive information that hackers and their customers may now possess on millions of Americans Social Security numbers, drivers licenses, credit card numbers, home addresses and more they may be阿爱上海同城