Fraud At Closing
Unfortunately for many home buyers, fraud does not show up until it’s to late. The closing table. Here is the time every home-buyer dreams of, filled with anticipation and excitement and a very rushed process.
Some might say an attorney can prevent this. This is just a myth. An attorney that does closings has no idea what your original information is and this is where the fraud will show up. The final version Vs. the original.
At closing, as the home buyer, you are rushed to sign everything. In many instance the closing agent and or attorney gives you an over view of what the document is you’re signing and tells you where you need to sign. Pushing one piece of paper after another around the table.
Having experienced many times both types of closings, both title agent and attorney closings, they are managed the exact same way. Rush, sign, Rush, sign, Rush, sign until all the document are signed by both parties. Remember, there are other closings scheduled to follow yours. The quicker your closing is done, the quicker the next closing can take place.
As a home-buyer, the MOST IMPORTANT DOCUMENT to inspect at closing for fraud will always be 1st and foremost your typed credit application.
This is where fraud in your loan will ALWAYS show up at the closing table. The information on this FINAL application is what your loan decision was based upon and if any of the information is inaccurate, it has typically been done intentionally for qualifying purposes.
As a home buyer, your signature on that document says “Yes, this information is correct”. By signing off on this final application, whether you verify the information or not, it holds you legally responsible for its content. Review it carefully for accuracy. Take your time. Get a calculator if necessary.
If it is wrong, you need to get it fixed. This is one of the hardest choices you will ever make in your life. What do you do if you find your income has been over stated? If you address it, it will usually postpone your closing. It could terminate your loan offer. You could lose this dream house. You could be forced to redo the whole loan process.
While You can pretend you didn’t see it, if it’s wrong, it does not change the need to do what is right. The right thing, both legally and morally, is to fix it and hope the seller will have more respect for you and give you the opportunity to correct these errors without losing everything you worked so hard for.
Unfortunately, some sellers simply won’t. This is the ugly side of loan fraud for home buyers. The fact that you won’t find it, many times, until you’re closing and you could lose so much for doing the right thing.