Reading that the former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson was last week jailed for 18 months for mortgage fraud got me thinking that it’s been a while since I have read a decent mortgage fraud story.

After the last recession, mortgage lenders took a long hard look at themselves and started to focus on the quality of their lending as opposed to the quantity. For the first time ever, lenders started to talk to each other, and share information about solicitors / brokers / estate agents / surveyors in fact anyone involved in the housing transaction, whom they believed may be involved in mortgage fraud.

Lenders imposed additional checks and set up specialist units to double check anything which looked remotely unusual or untoward. Suddenly when we called for updates, lenders were telling us “It’s gone to Head Office for audit” or “It’s with the Credit Risk Team.” Savvy brokers increased their firm’s fraud checks and made sure the mortgages they submitted were squeaky clean.

The clamp down took some brokers by surprise, as they were struck off lenders panels and black-balled by others. Banks started to press charges as opposed to quietly refusing future business and for a period of time the industry papers were full of tales of Mortgage Brokers being shut down and in some cases sent to prison.

One bank executive told me that their mortgage fraud had decreased from over £100m to less than £4m in 2 years. Their credit risk team are hailed as heroes and with such fantastic results have pretty much a free hand in deciding who stays and who goes. They also get to act with an air of mystery, striking individuals and firms off without giving a reason, to avoid anyone “tipping off” anyone else, which is another Money Laundering Offence.

Pretty soon these banning orders were extended to brokers who provide “poor quality” business as well as fraudulent business, as lenders found out that accepting only “quality” business meant their borrowers were less likely to fall into arrears.

Clearly the reason this particular story even made the BBC was Mr Robinson’s “celebrity” status rather than the ingenuity of the crime. The story in fact focused more on the terrible time he may receive have in prison from the various groups he has upset in the past than the fraud itself.

If anything this particular fraud was a bit on the boring side, £160,000 obtained by a dodgy mortgage broker with a couple of fake payslips. Clearly Credit Risk are still on top of their game!

To speak to an independent mortgage adviser, contact us or call 01628 507477.


Recent posts

Selling up? It’s important to make your house as appealing as possible to potential buyers. Good decorating can help with first impressions, and increase the perceived value of your property.

With the cost of living affecting so many of us, we have made a list of budget-friendly activities and ideas for you.

Moving soon? It's never too early to get organised! Be prepared and avoid unwanted stress by checking out our list of tips to get you ready for moving day.

Inflation simply put, is the increase in the price of something over time. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) tracks the prices of hundreds of everyday items and these items are updated to reflect shopping trends.

We are often asked if it's good advice to consolidate “unsecured” debt (credit cards and loans etc) into your mortgage, the answer is, sometimes

When you’re looking to buy a home, and you own a car, you ideally want to know the rules on parking in the area. Parking rules can be confusing, even for the most experienced of drivers! This is why we have written this blog to help you.

There are several potential sources you can consider when it comes to getting together a deposit to buy a property. Providing proof of the source of your deposit is a key requirement in the application process and will need to be given to both the lender and the solicitor.

Mortgage Prisoners are people who are unable to switch mortgages to a better deal, despite being up-to-date with their mortgage payments.