Mortgage fraud is a multibillion-dollar-a-year industry that impacts American homeowners across the socioeconomic spectrum. But the cost of mortgage fraud isn’t just measured in dollars; in addition to money, victims lose time spent trying to recover from their losses, their sense of stability and confidence, and sometimes their homes and independence. Given the slow economic and housing market recovery after the recent recession, we can expect mortgage fraud to continue to be a pressing concern, even as mortgage regulations are adapted to prevent such schemes.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to even quantify the true extent of mortgage fraud schemes, as many victims are reluctant to come forward or unaware of how to report the crime. Understanding the different types of mortgage fraud schemes, recognizing the signs of fraud, and knowing the steps to take after a fraud has occurred are essential to identifying, reporting, and preventing mortgage fraud and helping victims recover.
With that in mind, the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) created this Assisting Victims of Mortgage Fraud Online Toolkit, under the guidance from representatives working with the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and its Mortgage Fraud Victim Initiative. The purpose of this toolkit is to educate victim service providers, attorneys, and other allied organizations of the many types of crimes, frauds, and schemes associated with mortgage fraud and how to best serve its victims. Whether you are a victim of fraud trying to understand what to do next, or a victim service provider seeking materials to raise awareness in your community, this kit offers a wealth of resources to help you.