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Be aware of what your mortgage broker may be getting you into with that “too good to be true” mortgage deal:

The increased reliance by both financial institutions and non-financial institution lenders on third-party brokers has created opportunities for organized fraud groups, particularly where mortgage industry professionals are involved.

Combating significant fraud in this area is a priority, because mortgage lending and the housing market have a significant overall effect on the nation’s economy. All Mortgage Fraud programs were recently consolidated within the Financial Institution Fraud Unit, even where the targeted lender is not a financial institution. This consolidation provides a more effective and efficient management over Mortgage Fraud investigations, the ability to identify and respond more rapidly to emerging Mortgage Fraud problems and a clearer picture of the overall Mortgage Fraud problem.

Each Mortgage Fraud scheme contains some type of “material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission relating to the property or potential mortgage relied on by an underwriter or lender to fund, purchase or insure a loan.” The Mortgage Bankers Association projects $2.37 trillion in mortgage loans will be made during 2006. The FBI compiles data on Mortgage Fraud through Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) filed by federally-insured financial institutions and Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG) reports. The FBI also receives complaints from the mortgage industry at large.

Read more at the FBI’s site

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