Mortgage fraud: Schemes, red flags, and responses.
Mortgage fraud has been on the rise in recent years. Mortgage fraudsters reap illicit gains by engaging in diverse fraud schemes. These frauds include foreclosure rescue, home equity conversion, loan modification, illegal property flipping, builder bailouts, equity skimming, straw buyers, and short sale schemes. We review unique red flags for each scheme. We then document how and why the rise in mortgage fraud has not been accompanied by a concomitant increase in federal and state prosecution. While the federal government has reinstated tougher mortgage underwriting standards and instituted a license registration system for mortgage brokers, additional actions can be taken to combat mortgage fraud. We recommend a series of additional steps that could be taken by the public and private sectors to enhance the attack on mortgage fraud. Forensic accountants would play an important role in the implementation of the additional anti-mortgage fraud steps.
Louisiana State University, EJ Ourso College of Business Administration, National Association
Stowell, N., Pacini, C., Schmidt, M., & Keller, K. (2014). Mortgage fraud: Schemes, red flags, and responses. Journal of Forensic & Investigative Accounting 6(2), 225-259.
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