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 Avoid Committing Mortgage Fraud

Avoid Committing Mortgage Fraud

How To Guard Against Mortgage Fraud

Following fresh warnings from the National Fraud Authority about the rising level of mortgage fraud in the UK, lenders want more done to protect their interests.

Mortgage fraud was a widespread problem before the financial meltdown and collapse of the property market back in 2007/8 due to the availability of self- certification mortgages with buyers, brokers and mortgage advisers able to ‘self-declare’ earnings with little, if any, proof required by an industry too busy to carry out proper rules and checks on applicants.

Mortgage fraud costs the industry around £1 Billion (GBP) a year, leading the Financial Conduct Authority to want to instruct mortgage lenders to better acquaint themselves with the solicitors they work with.

The new stricter mortgage rules introduced in the Mortgage Market Review in April 2014 are intended to reduce the number of people who attempt to make false claims and self-certification mortgages are now a thing of the past.

However, this won’t stop mortgage fraud or prevent homeowners and property investors from being a victim of identity or registration fraud.

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The Financial Services Authority (FSA) have warned landlords and homeowners about ‘property hijacking’, the practice whereby fraudsters attempt to raise mortgages on empty properties that they do not own.

The FSA says it has observed a notable increase in cases of UK property hijacking.

The warning has gone out to all UK mortgage brokers, but agents and landlords should also be aware of the potential for fraud.

In its smaller firms regulation round-up for April 2012, the FSA warned UK mortgage brokers that: “There have been attempts by fraudsters to raise mortgages on unencumbered properties which they do not own – property hijacking. This demonstrates the importance of undertaking appropriate due diligence when engaging in new relationships, to ensure that you know who you are dealing with and can identify any trends or anomalies in the business being offered.”

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