Mortgage Fraud Protection
Buying a home can be one of the most important financial transactions a person makes in their lives. Choosing the right mortgage lender and real estate professionals is essential to that transaction. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous individuals and institutions, including mortgage brokers, real estate appraisers, or real estate agents, may take advantage of vulnerable homebuyers by misleading them about key information like the value of the home to be purchased or the terms of the loan.
The result can be homebuyers who borrow too much money to pay for a home that is not worth what they believed. Homebuyers put in this situation are particularly at risk for foreclosure. Fortunately, there are resources available for victims of mortgage fraud. Homebuyers who believe they have been victimized can seek assistance from the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Division.
You can visit: www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/mortgages There you can find resources for homeowners who are experiencing trouble with their mortgage or who are the victims of mortgage fraud. You will also be able to fill out a consumer complaint form through the Office of the Attorney General.
You can also make a report of suspected mortgage fraud to the City of Austin. These complaints will be reviewed by the Law Department for possible action. To make a complaint, fill out this form. Please note that the Law Department cannot provide you legal advice or advocate on your behalf. The City of Austin may only seek to enforce state civil laws that protect consumers from fraud. If you need legal advice for your situation, you should contact a personal attorney or seek assistance from Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid at www.trla.org/office/austin or Volunteer Legal Services of Texas at http://www.vlsoct.org/.
The FBI also dedicates resources to combatting mortgage fraud and financial crimes. Go to https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/white-collar-crime/mortgage-fraud for the FBI’s descriptions of various common mortgage fraud schemes. You may contact the FBI’s San Antonio Field office at
FBI’s San Antonio Field office
5740 University Heights Blvd.
San Antonio, TX 78249
Finally, if you believe that you have been the victim of a financial crime, you should contact 3-1-1 and ask for the Austin Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit. If there is an emergency, please contact 9-1-1.