Openwork launches mortgage fraud prevention guide

Robyn Hall

June 4, 2013

The guide which is titled ‘Mortgage Fraud And How To Avoid It’ has been developed by Openwork to help advisers address an issue the National Fraud Authority estimates cost the UK economy £1bn in 2012.

Paul Shearman, mortgage, protection & general insurance proposition director at Openwork, said: “Mortgage fraud is not only exceptionally costly to the UK economy it can also threaten an adviser’s career if they fail to identify it in time.

“Our guide aims to help keep our advisers safe offering comprehensive advice on how to spot mortgage fraud in all its various guises and explaining in detail how they can verify or prevent suspicious applications.”

Packed with advice and examples of real-life attempted fraud, the guide highlights the early warning signs advisers should look out for when assessing mortgage applications and provides a check-list of questions they should ask themselves when seeking to verify documentation and the claims of clients and introducers.

The guide is available for advisers to download from Openwork’s extranet and also outlines the most common types of fraud – including advice on how best to combat it – with particular reference to false occupation and earnings details backed up by fraudulent income evidence.

Other areas of focus include false applications for residential mortgages – where the client has no intention of living in a property but instead plans to rent it out – suspicious ‘below market value’ transactions; sale & rent back schemes; and deposit and mortgage advance fraud.

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