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Rise in cases of mortgage application fraud

Written by: Joanna Faith
Lying or exaggerating your income when applying for a mortgage could result in you being reported to the police
Rise in cases of mortgage application fraud

Increasing numbers of people are lying on their mortgage application in an attempt to boost their chances of getting a loan, a report reveals.

Cases of fraudulent mortgage applications increased by 5 per cent between January and June compared to the last six months of 2018, according to figures from Cifas, the fraud prevention service.

Nearly half of those caught committing application fraud (45 per cent) were aged between 31-40, a 16 per cent increase compared to the last six months of 2018.

There was a 6 per cent rise among those aged between 41-50.

Coincidentally, the research revealed that people in the 35-44 age category were more likely to think that exaggerating their income on their mortgage application was ‘reasonable’ than any other age group.

Taking out a mortgage based on a false income could result in homeowners being blacklisted against future product purchases, or possibly being reported to the police for investigation – potentially leading to a criminal conviction and a prison sentence.

Mike Haley, chief executive of Cifas, said: “It’s easy to assume that making exaggerations to improve the chances of your mortgage being approved is harmless, but the reality is that this is fraud and the consequences can be very serious.

“Mortgage providers carry out rigorous checks, and so exaggerating your income or withholding any change of circumstances could result in it being harder to obtain financial products in the future such as mortgages and loans. In more serious cases, this kind of fraud could result in a hefty fine or a prison sentence, or the possibility of losing your home.”

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