The five most common consumer mortgage fraud complaints addressed by the Nevada Mortgage Fraud Unit, which investigates and prosecutes violations of mortgage fraud, as well as foreclosure rescue fraud, foreclosure fraud, and any and all other theft related crimes arising out of mortgage related transactions, have been announced for 2012.
Top 5 Most Common Mortgage Fraud Consumer Complaints by Category in 2012:
1. Loan Modification and Other Loss Mitigation Issues – Subject offers to save someone’s home through various methods such as modifying the loan or reducing the principal.
2. Documentation Problems – Robo-signing, forged documents, unable to produce note, homes foreclosed through questionable documents, complainant contests foreclosure based on a lack of the original note.
3. Customer Service Issues – Lender or servicer are unwilling or are being difficult about working with the homeowner on a loan modification.
4. Falsified Loan Documents – Loan documents misrepresented borrowers’ true income/debt.
5. Miscellaneous – Subject attempts to purchase home through fraud, subject sells or rents home when not the true owner, fraudulent lien, subject offers to act as a mediator for someone attempting to acquire loan.
In conjunction with National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced the top 5 consumer complaints.
The AG’s office received 12,476 complaints in 2012. Of those, 788 were mortgage fraud consumer complaints from the following counties: Carson, Clark, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Lyon, Nye, Washoe, and White Pine. In resolving those 2012 MFU complaints, $442,745 was ordered to be put back into the hands of consumers. Since the MFU started in 2010, $1,470,167 worth of restitution has been ordered.
Consumers should be aware of scams related to the National Mortgage Settlement as well as scams connected to loan modification or foreclosure rescue. Consumers who spot either of these scams or others are encouraged to report them to the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Hot Line by calling 702-486-3132.
“I encourage Nevadans to seek mortgage assistance through Home Again Nevada,” said Masto. “In general, there is no reason to hire a for-profit loan modification company. Homeowners can directly negotiate loan modifications with Home Again Nevada who will connect you with a trained Housing and Urban Development certified counselor for free. Contacting Home Again Nevada will help people from falling victim to scams.”