Mortgage fraud and scams hurt lending institutions, real estate professionals, and significant numbers of homeowners in Washington each year.
If you're currently looking at buying a home, refinancing, or are facing foreclosure, be on guard so you don't become a victim of a mortgage scam.
Mortgage Fraud Prevention Tips
- Beware of upfront fees
Beware of advertising that asks for an up front fee to get you out of debt, clean up your credit, or save your home.
- Verify licenses
Verify the license of the individual working with you with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.
- Never sign a blank document or a document containing blanks
Make sure everything is complete and that you agree with the terms before you sign your name.
- Never sign anything you don't understand
Read through all documentation and agreements carefully. If you don't understand what is in writing, consult an attorney or a trusted friend or family member.
Loan Modification Scams
Homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgage should be cautious about using the services of someone offering to help them work with their lender to modify the terms of their home loan. See:
Foreclosure Rescue Scams
If you're selling your home without professional guidance, beware of buyers who try to rush you through the process. Unfortunately, there are people who may try to take advantage of your financial difficulty.
If you are or think you are a victim of mortgage fraud contact the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) at 1.877.RING DFI (746-4334) and file a complaint.
- Common Types of Mortgage Fraud
Information from the FBI about the common types of mortgage fraud.
- Beware of Deceptive Mortgage Ads
Information from the Federal Trade Commission about spotting deceptive mortgage ads.
- Watch Out for Mortgage Assistance Relief Scams
A warning from the Federal Trade Commission about mortgage assistance relief scams.