The true level of mortgage fraud is largely unknown…..STATEMENT OF CHRIS SWECKER, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE DIVISION, FBI


Although there is no specific statute that defines mortgage fraud, each mortgage fraud scheme contains some type of material misstatement, misrepresentation or omission relied upon by an underwriter or lender to fund, purchase or insure a loan. The Mortgage Bankers Association projects 2.5 trillion in mortgage loans will be made this year. The FBI compiles data on mortgage fraud through Suspicious Activity Reports filed by financial institutions and HUD Office of the Inspector General reports. The FBI also receives complaints from the industry at large.

A significant portion of the mortgage industry is void of any mandatory fraud reporting. In addition, mortgage fraud in the secondary market is often underreported. Therefore, the true level of mortgage fraud is largely unknown. The mortgage industry itself does not provide estimates on total industry fraud. The industry provides incomplete or inconsistent fraud data. Based on various industry reports and FBI analysis, mortgage fraud is pervasive and growing.

The potential impact of mortgage fraud on financial institutions in the stock market is clear.  If fraudulent practices become systemic within the mortgage industry and mortgage fraud is allowed to become unrestrained, it will ultimately place financial institutions at risk and have adverse effects on the stock market. Investors may lose faith and require higher returns from mortgage-backed securities, which will result in higher interest rates and fees paid by borrowers, limiting the amount of investment funds available for mortgage loans.

Often mortgage loans sold in secondary markets are used by financial institutions as collateral for other investments. Repurchase agreements have been utilized by investors for protection against mortgage fraud. When loans sold in the secondary market default and have fraudulent or material misrepresentation, loans are repurchased by the lending financial institution based on a repurchase agreement. As a result, these loans become a nonperforming asset, and in extreme fraud cases, the mortgage-backed security is worthless. Mortgage fraud losses adversely affect loan loss reserves, profits, liquidity levels and capitalization ratios, ultimately affecting the soundness of the financial institution itself.

More INFO on Attorney Chris Swecker.

See the interview with Chris Swecker on CBS This Morning from 7/11/12. Click here.

Justice League

TESTIMONY OF CHRIS SWECKER BEFORE CONGRESS in 2004:

STATEMENT OF CHRIS SWECKER, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE DIVISION, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

Although there is no specific statute that defines mortgage fraud, each mortgage fraud scheme contains some type of material misstatement, misrepresentation or omission relied upon by an underwriter or lender to fund, purchase or insure a loan. The Mortgage Bankers Association projects 2.5 trillion in mortgage loans will be made this year. The FBI compiles data on mortgage fraud through Suspicious Activity Reports filed by financial institutions and HUD Office of the Inspector General reports. The FBI also receives complaints from the industry at large.

A significant portion of the mortgage industry is void of any mandatory fraud reporting. In addition, mortgage fraud in the secondary market is often underreported. Therefore, the true level of mortgage fraud is largely unknown. The mortgage industry itself does not provide estimates on…

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