Help for Victims
If you have been a victim of mortgage fraud—you’re not alone. It’s important for you to know that smart, hardworking people from all walks of life fall victim to fraudsters every day. Perpetrators of mortgage and other financial fraud schemes are successful because they are incredibly persuasive, able to
manipulate victims into making emotional decisions that only seem rational at the time.
What Do I Do Now?
The resources compiled in this section will help you understand your rights, offer you specific action steps to take to help you recover from fraud, and point you to the right government agencies and organizations to report the crime.
Tips for Using these Resources
If you know you are—or believe you may be—a victim of mortgage fraud:
- get the facts—learn the basics of mortgage fraud from our Mortgage Fraud Fact Sheet for Victims, or visit the Understanding Mortgage Fraud section of this toolkit for more in-depth information
- gather your resources—our downloadable, printable Mortgage Fraud Resources List is a ready reference of government, nonprofit, and consumer protection agencies ready to help you
- make an action plan—Taking Action: An Advocate’s Guide to Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud, produced by FINRA, has an excellent step-by-step action plan for victims of mortgage fraud (see pages 45-48)
Protection Strategies Despite efforts to avoid scams, many homeowners fall victim to mortgage fraud. The sad reality is that there is generally little recourse to recover money already paid. However, if you suspect that you have fallen victim to mortgage fraud, you can take action to protect yourself from further problems.
- Step 1 – Contact your mortgage servicer/lender immediately.
- Step 2 – Speak with a HUD- approved housing counselor.
- Step 3 – Report the mortgage fraud to the appropriate authorities.