Identity Theft and Mortgage Fraud
Mortgage fraud can occur in a variety of ways and it is a common scheme in the United States. Identity thieves can commit mortgage fraud by applying for a equity home loan with your financial and personal information. If an identity thief knows your date of birth, your home address, and SSN, this type of mortgage fraud via identity theft is fairly easy to commit.
Mortgage fraud can also happen in a fraudulent sale of your home. In this form of identity theft, criminals usually work in pairs. One of them will assume your identity and will then “sell” your property to the other identity thief. When they have the money, they will just disappear with no home sale happening. Unfortunately, there are also times when the identity of the homeowner is taken and the home sold to a buyer who is legitimate. In this case, the identity thief has the money and the original homeowner whose identity was stolen is left trying to re-establish their credit and their identity.
In many cases, banks are the victims that suffer the worst because the homeowner’s identity was stolen and they were not the ones who took out the loan. Many times the homeowner will not be held liable for a bogus loan. The homeowners, along with the banks or loan company, have to spend many hours and a lot of money in order to sort through the problem.
Many of the victims of mortgage fraud via identity theft are ones who are established homeowners and who have a lot of equity built up in their homes. It is very easy to find out this information by tracking property values in the area and doing an online title search.
To protect yourself from becoming a victim of mortgage fraud via identity theft, make sure you check your credit reports yearly. If you notice any information on your credit report that you do not recognize make sure that you get it immediately straightened out. You should also make sure that you have good antivirus and spyware software installed on your computer to protect your personal and financial information.