“If you can’t verify that the information is directly from the borrower, walk away,” he says. “No one deal is worth getting involved in what could be a fraudulent deal.”
It is important to understand that the mortgage professional
is responsible for all of the contents in a loan file, says Stein.
“This means you must verify the source and accuracy of all of the qualifying information,” he reminded originators in an interview with MPA
, “including employment verification, assets, et cetera.”
Some easy steps to avoid being a victim of fraud include not allowing a third party to serve as a go-between; never accepting complete loan packages from other sources, and surrounding yourself with reputable partners, says Stein.
“Make sure you personally are verifying employment and the equity contribution of the borrower. Also, find out directly from the borrower the occupy status for the property,” he says. “If this is a refinance, make sure the borrower actually owns the property. You’d be surprised how often this type of fraud occurs.”
“Loan officers or brokers simply need to exercise common sense in order to not become a victim to a fraudulent scheme,” says Adam Stein, CEO of LoanTek Inc. “It isn’t uncommon to read or hear horror stories about identity theft and fraud in today’s technological world. Mortgage professionals, like everyone else, must use precaution to ensure they are protected against fraud.