Securing a mortgage is likely the largest financial commitment of your life. Falling victim to a fraud or scam can haunt you for years, even decades.

The state regulates the mortgage industry. Help is available if you suspect you are the victim of a fraud or a scam.

What you may face

Signs of a mortgage fraud or scam are often in the details. The paperwork contains numbers, numbers and more numbers, and the legal jargon is confusing. You can miss problems if you are not careful about reviewing every line on every page.

Some common signs of fraud:

  • Discrepancies in Social Security numbers
  • Discrepancies in addresses
  • Documents with deletions, alterations or signs of correction fluid
  • A verification completed on the same day, on a weekend or holiday
  • Different handwriting or type styles on documents
  • Unsigned or undated paperwork
  • Same telephone number for applicant and employer
  • The absence of a real estate agent
  • The use of power of attorney
  • An excessive real estate commission
  • A “boilerplate” contract that does not reflect your actual negotiations
  • Missing pages
  • The weather conditions in appraisal photos do not match the date of the appraisal.
  • The homeowner’s insurance policy is a rental policy

What the state can – and cannot – do to help you

The state’s Mortgage Banking Section investigates alleged violations. It is important to file your complaint as soon as possible.

Complaint guidelines include providing information about your case in chronological order. Be specific with dates and incidents, and provide documentation whenever possible.

The state licenses and regulates mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers and mortgage originators. But it cannot guarantee fee refunds, contract cancellations or the awarding of damages.

What you can do

A mortgage company mistake can be innocent or unintentional, but it can be due to incompetence or the result of deliberate misrepresentation.

You have options for protecting your financial future. Begin the process before it is too late. The sooner you start, the sooner you resolve your case.