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Introduction

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.

How to Use this Kit

Are you a victim of mortgage fraud? Go straight to our Help for Victims section.

Are you a victim service provider? Go straight to our Tools for Victim Service Providers section.

The primary goal of this toolkit is to meet the needs of service providers who assist mortgage fraud victims. To that end, we’ve compiled selected resources to help both victims and victim service providers find the information they’ll need to understand and report mortgage fraud crimes.

The toolkit is organized into five sections:

  1. Building Awareness—downloadable deliverables and PSAs to help build awareness of mortgage fraud in your community
  2. Understanding Mortgage Fraud—fact sheets, podcasts, webinars, and presentations to help victims, service providers, and community leaders learn more about different  types of mortgage fraud schemes and the impact they have on victims and the housing industry
  3. Help for Victims—geared specifically toward general consumers and victims of mortgage fraud, with links to agencies that handle fraud cases and specific information about what to do if you are a victim of mortgage fraud
  4. Tools for Victim Service Providers—resources to help service providers identify and respond to mortgage fraud victims
  5. Our Partners—additional resources from related agencies to help educate consumers about good financial practices, as well as information about and links to the agencies who have partnered with us to create this toolkit

You are welcome to download, print, and distribute the information within this toolkit to help educate consumers, victims, and service providers; when working with victims of mortgage fraud; and when having community information meetings, conducting presentations, or as a resource for conferences. Please be sure to properly credit your sources when using these materials.

 

OVC LOGOThis project is supported by Grant 2011-VF-GX-K021, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime,Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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