CIFAS, the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service, aims to address such things as identity fraud, application fraud, and insurance fraud. Their latest Fraudscape report
has now been released indicating that mortgage fraud in 2010 was up slightly, a rise in the number of application frauds exposed when compared to 2009 could be due to the stricter lending criteria “weeding out and rejecting” those applications before they even reach the underwriting stage.
The figures show that the biggest increase was in the first six months of 2010 but CIFAS advise that the increase has been in line with expectations due to floundering house prices and tighter lending criteria. The tighter lending criteria has seen an increase in falsified mortgage applications being brought to light, namely through falsified salary information.
An overall reduction in application fraud, including bank account and credit card fraud, could be attributed to the increased media coverage relating to reduced lending and could be enough to deter even the best fraudster from applying. The report shows that whilst there was an overall reduction in the levels of fraudulent applications some aspects of fraud have not been impacted by the current economic climate and many fraudsters are continuing with their “work”.
As a Solicitor is involved in many of the property transactions taking place throughout the UK you could find yourself criminally liable should your client commit mortgage fraud. Have you applied due diligence and checked out your client?
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