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National Fraud Authority warns against rise in mortgage fraud

The National Fraud Authority today called on organisations to continue to combat mortgage fraud to avoid it returning to previous high levels alongside any economic upturn.

In a report published today, called Working Together to Stop Mortgage Fraud, the NFA says the public and private sector should join forces to more effectively respond to new fraud threats.

The NFA estimates that the annual value of mortgage fraud is £1bn.

NFA highlightsthe difficulty lenders and intermediaries have in identifying fake documents in the mortgage process.

The NFA and the Metropolitan Police have teamed up to establish the Mortgage Fraud Forum, which aims to help tackle and raise awareness of mortgage fraud.

NFA chief executive Bernard Herdan says: “In the economic downturn, there has been a reduction in the availability of products that were targets of fraud such as sub-prime, buy-to-let and self-certified mortgages. The economic climate also has increased pressure on lenders to reduce costs, so there has been a greater emphasis on fraud prevention, detection and recovery of losses. The NFA urges mortgage lenders to maintain this robust approach in the anticipated economic upswing.  

“Combating mortgage fraud is a key priority of the NFA in our strategy to make the UK a more hostile environment for fraudsters.  We are pleased that since we launched the National Fraud Strategy in March 2009, understanding of the mortgage fraud threat has improved and across the mortgage community there is more agreement about the reforms that are needed to combat it. We can only beat mortgage fraudsters if all organisations involved in the mortgage market, both public and private, work together.”

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  1. If lenders are worried about forged documents, why not resort back to the old system of writing to an applicants employers for an official reference, it may delay the process slightly but it could remove a lot of the problems

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