With homeowners at risk of foreclosing due to the recession, mortgage fraud cases jumped 60% in 2013. Now, this problem has become even more serious.
Just recently, an African was sentenced along with his three criminal associates after their role in a Rand100 million mortgage fraud case. The man was the former president of a Group, a corrupt loan origination company.
Fraudulent activities can face you at risk to lose millions of Rands if you don’t know what to watch out for. And though it’s not known accurately how uncontrolled this problem is, statistics show it is growing all the time.
Fortunately, there are some tips you can do to protect yourself from becoming a victim of mortgage fraud:
- Make sure you get appointments for real estate and mortgage professionals from reliable friends and relatives
- Verify what other properties in the area have sold for in comparison to the property you are looking at as well as tax assessments to confirm the property’s actual value.
- Before signing, make sure you understand everything. If there is something you don’t understand, be sure to ask an attorney. And be cautious of any documents that contain blanks as this can leave you susceptible to fraud.
- Examine all the loan documents to ensure all the information is fair, accurate and true.
- Confirm the history to find out how often the property has been sold and re-sold. It might be an warning the property’s value has been falsely and deliberately inflated and the property illegally flipped
- Don’t be forced into borrowing more than you can afford to repay.