How to Avoid Common Mortgage Fraud Scheme ?

Mortgage fraud can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. These scams can lead to
immense financial loss, legal troubles, and significant emotional distress. Being proactive
in understanding and evading these fraudulent schemes is vital. Let’s guide you through
the steps to ensure your journey to homeownership remains secure and free of fraud.

Step 1: Understand the Types of Mortgage Fraud

Knowledge is the first line of defense. Familiarize yourself with common fraud schemes:

1.1 Property Flipping Fraud: A property is bought, artificially appraised at a higher value,
and then quickly sold.

1.2 Fake Identity Fraud: Mortgages applied using stolen identities.

1.3 Occupancy Fraud: A buyer claims they will occupy the property but intends to rent it

1.4 Income Fraud: Overstating income on mortgage applications.

Step 2: Choose a Reputable Mortgage Broker

Work with established and reputable mortgage brokers, like Shelto, known for stringent
due diligence.

2.1 Research: Read reviews, check ratings, and seek recommendations.

2.2 Licensing: Ensure the broker is licensed to operate in Canada.

Step 3: Verify Agent and Lender Credentials

Always double-check the credentials of the people you’re working with.

3.1 Regulatory Bodies: Confirm the legitimacy of agents or brokers through regulatory
bodies in Canada.

3.2 Direct Contact: When reaching out to lenders, use the contact details provided on
their official websites, not those given by intermediaries.

Step 4: Guard Your Personal Information

Your personal details are the key to many fraud schemes.

4.1 Secure Documents: Store vital documents securely. Shred unneeded financial

4.2 Limit Sharing: Only share financial information when necessary and ensure it’s with
trusted entities.

Step 5: Obtain an Independent Appraisal

An unbiased property appraisal can prevent you from falling for inflated property values.

5.1 Choose a Neutral Appraiser: Ensure they have no connection to the seller or agent.

5.2 Cross-Verify: Compare the independent appraisal with the one provided by the lender
or seller.

Step 6: Be Cautious of Pressure Tactics
High-pressure sales tactics can be a sign of fraudulent intent.

6.1 Take Your Time: Mortgage decisions are significant; they shouldn’t be rushed.
6.2 Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off, step back and reassess.

Certain warning signs can indicate potential fraud.

7.1 Too Good to Be True: Extremely low interest rates or too-easy approval processes
can be baits.

7.2 Upfront Fees: Beware of lenders asking for fees before providing services.

7.3 Unsolicited Contacts: Unsolicited emails, calls, or offers can be a precursor to

Step 8: Regularly Review Your Credit Report

Monitor your credit report for any suspicious activity.

8.1 Annual Check: Obtain a free annual credit report from Canadian credit reporting

8.2 Report Anomalies: If you notice unfamiliar transactions, report them immediately.

Step 9: Understand Foreclosure Scams

If you’re facing foreclosure, be cautious of “rescue” schemes.

9.1 Avoid “Rescue” Companies: They might offer to save your home but often have
ulterior motives.

9.2 Legal Counsel: If facing foreclosure, seek advice from a lawyer or reputable

Step 10: Ensure Transparent Communication

Clear communication can preempt many fraudulent situations.

10.1 Document Everything: Keep records of every communication and transaction.

10.2 Ask Questions: If there’s something you don’t understand, seek clarity.

Step 11: Be Wary of Blank Documents

Never sign blank or incomplete documents. This is a typical method fraudsters use to
insert false information.

Step 12: Collaborate with Legal Counsel

Having an attorney review your mortgage documents can be a wise move.

12.1 Professional Scrutiny: They can identify irregularities or clauses that might be

12.2 Neutral Perspective: Legal professionals offer unbiased perspectives, ensuring your
interests are protected.
Navigating the mortgage landscape requires caution and diligence. By educating yourself
about potential pitfalls and aligning with trustworthy professionals like Shelto Mortgage
Brokerage, you can secure your dream home without the nightmares of fraud. Remember,
vigilance and knowledge are your strongest allies in this journey. Stay informed, stay safe!

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