As a Mortgage Broker, one of the most important steps in your due diligence process is to validate property ownership information. When it comes time for you to vet applications, validating property ownership should be top of your list in order to reveal information to help you mitigate potential fraud.
We’ve heard of Mortgage Brokers conducting a property ownership search only to find that additional owners are identified on title. In some cases, property owners may not want to disclose if someone else is on title in hopes of refinancing their mortgage without telling the other parties on title.
In other cases, many current property owners may not realize that a co-signer was issued on title which may have been an oversight when they first purchased the property. This could happen if current homeowners forget they put their parents’ information on title when they were initially approved for a mortgage.
Another alarming and malicious reason for property ownership information not being disclosed is due to property ownership fraud where the title to a home is stolen. This means a fraudster will proceed to sell the property or apply for a new mortgage against that property. This type of title fraud usually begins with identity theft.
As a Mortgage Broker, you have an important responsibility to execute due diligence at the start of the application process to ensure to the best of your efforts that you’re not brokering a fraudulent deal. Validating ownership is the best way to prevent this from happening.
We’ve compiled some best practices to follow when vetting applications:
- Conduct a thorough title search at the beginning of your application process. Be sure to pay attention to patterns of inactive or deleted instruments on the Parcel Register. If something seems suspicious, such as a mortgage being discharged within six months preceding the closing date, dig deeper into the application.
- Ask your clients about any discrepancies you may find against their application. In some cases, it may have been an innocent oversight that you are able to correct, such as adding their spouse to the application.
PurView allows you to evaluate key data at the beginning of the application stage and view the property details and ownership information to confirm all owners currently on title. Not only will this help you prevent potential fraud, but it will also enable you to complete applications more efficiently, ultimately satisfying your clients.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 1.855.787.8439 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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