When we hear the word fraud the first image that usually comes to mind is someone who is not what they have presented themselves to be and has stolen money from you. However, fraud is much wider than that covering different types of crime from mortgage to online fraud.
One of the most common types of fraud is mortgage fraud where an individual (or individuals) defraud a Bank (or private lender) through the mortgage process by using and/or providing false information.
Typically, the individual has no idea this has happened until they receive a letter from the bank (or solicitor) demanding repayment of the mortgage.
When you know fraud has, or might have, taken place we recommend the following:
- Report immediately to Action Fraud. You can do this over the phone (0300 123 2040) or online. Fraud can be either a criminal or civil issue and, therefore, the police will advise you to contact the Bank if they deem your case a civil issue. If the police consider the matter criminal they will provide you with a reference number. You will need to provide this number to the Bank to prove you have reported the fraud.
- Contact the bank (whether the fraud is civil or criminal) and explain to them the background and that you did not agree, or have any knowledge of, such a mortgage and the issue has been reported to Action Fraud. When corresponding with the Bank do so in writing so that you have evidence in case you need to litigate the matter. If you contact the Bank by phone take notes of the conversation, including the name of the person you are talking to and the date and time.
- Ask the Bank for a copy of the file they hold for you regarding the mortgage. When reviewing these documents we have often found evidence indicating a fraud took place, such as notes of a telephone conversation with a third party pretending to be the client, false financial statements or that the solicitor or accountant ceased practising or was previously reported for fraud.
- If the Bank does not cooperate or they threaten you with proceedings involving a charge on your property to force a sale of your property, then please do not hesitate to contact us. Our Litigation Department has plenty of experience and would be more than happy to assist you. Call us on 020 7323 5000 or email Matthew Strain at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alex Guest at email@example.com.
We know how stressful this can be and how important it is to act early to prevent the Bank instigating proceedings against you.
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