14 Jul

Homeowners warned not to commit mortgage fraud

Homeowners warned not to commit mortgage fraud

Homeowners have been warned that they should avoid committing mortgage fraud "at all costs".

Equifax explains that in times of financial hardship, such as those being experienced by many people as a result of the credit crunch, the temptation to manipulate information on an application increases.

However, the firm reminds them that independent checking takes place on all information provided, so it is likely that if they lie, they will get found out.

Furthermore, the investigators will assess an application more thoroughly and "check more things out than they may have done [previously]", the company continues.

Neil Munroe, external affairs director at Equifax, says: "You do tend to get this first party fraud occurring more and more, because people need the mortgage or need finance generally and, because of that need, are prepared to bend the truth."

In February of this year, KPMG reported that mortgage fraud in the UK in 2008 stood at £36 million, compared to £3.7 million the previous year.

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