U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Mortgage Fraud and Facilitating Circumstances (From Situational Prevention of Organised Crimes, P 111-129, 2010, Karen Bullock, Ronald V. Clarke, and Nick Tilley, eds. - See NCJ-230763)

NCJ Number
Barbra van Gestel
Date Published
19 pages
This chapter examines the operational tactics used by criminals who commit mortgage fraud.
Mortgage fraud can be committed for a variety of reasons: to help someone obtain housing; as part of a complicated illegal operation; and for tax evasion purposes. This chapter examines the operational tactics used by real estate traders and brokers who commit mortgage fraud and examines two general opportunity reducing measure that can be used to reduce or prevent mortgage fraud. It examines in detail, information collected from 12 completed police investigations in the Netherlands that dealt with mortgage fraud. Data are presented on the legal actors and illegal activities that were part of these 12 cases. The differences between personal mortgage fraud and organized mortgage fraud are also discussed. Finally, the chapter lists the conditions that provide opportunities for persons to commit mortgage fraud. These conditions include: the prices of real estate; demand for affordable accommodations; demand for anonymity; limited information about the property, the applicant, and his/her income; the role that civil law notaries and secrecy play in transactions; the commercial interests of the financial and legal professionals involved in the transactions; and the presence of absent buyers in 'paper' transactions. A discussion follows on two opportunity-reducing interventions that can be used to fight mortgage fraud: removing the excuses by increasing the integrity of the professional groups and increasing the risks of getting caught for mortgage fraud by having a greater exchange of information. Notes and references