Joanna A. van der Vant is an accounting and finance expert residing in the Chicago area. She recently sat down with the staff of Information Nation to discuss loan fraud schemes and their impact upon the market.
Information Nation: Why are loan product fraud schemes so prevalent in the marketplace?
Joanna A. van der Vant: Loan fraud carries a relatively low possible jail time. This makes it attractive to criminals who can obtain a large sum of cash from one transaction and lessen their chances of detection.
Information Nation: Is loan fraud more dominant during real estate booms?
Joanna A. van der Vant: Lax quality control makes it easy during busy times to catch fraudulent documentation before funds have been released.
Information Nation: Has technology made the loan process less susceptible to fraud?
Joanna A. van der Vant: Technology has made it easier in many mays, since the majority of transactions involved in the loan process happen anonymously.
Information Nation: What is a builder bailout scheme?
Joanna A. van der Vant: Builders may employ a number tactics to defraud lenders from collecting funds owed. These usually include concessions to the buyer not disclosed on any documentation, making the value of the transaction lower.
Information Nation: How do builders use inflated appraisals to offload property?
Joanna A. van der Vant: A builder may sell a property using an inflated value in order to offer the buyer a large incentive, such as down payment assistance.
Information Nation: How are out-of-state buyers duped into buying worthless real estate?
Joanna A. van der Vant: Builders will entice buyers unaware of local conditions to take out a loan to purchase properties at well above their values. These inflated sales prices help the vendor pay their debt while defrauding the buyer.
Information Nation: What is an air loan?
Joanna A. van der Vant: A loan scheme where a builder and other cohorts invent a property to borrow against or sell to an unsuspecting buyer.
Information Nation: What is identity fraud?
Joanna A. van der Vant: Using misrepresented data to obtain a loan. Identity fraud may also be used to perform other illegal activities.
Information Nation: Who uses identity fraud for loan transactions?
Joanna A. van der Vant: Mortgage bankers may create an identity using personal details of several clients. Fake “investment clubs” also exist that pool fake identities in order to obtain large credit lines to purchase properties.
Information Nation: How do Social Security numbers play a role in loan fraud?
Joanna A. van der Vant: Borrowers with bad credit can use a Social Security number belonging to someone with good credit to obtain a loan. Often, these loans default and severely damage the victim’s credit.
Information Nation: What is a fraudulent sale?
Joanna A. van der Vant: When a property is sold without owner consent. This is usually discovered after the loan process has completed, leaving the buyer holding a mortgage for a property that does not belong to them.
Information Nation: How can a criminal obtain information to use another’s home equity line of credit (HELOC)?
Joanna A. van der Vant: A HELOC may be acquired without consumer knowledge through phishing and other information gathering schemes.
Information Nation: What is a loan modification scam?
Joanna A. van der Vant: A scam that exists when a homeowner uses false information to obtain mortgage relief under any number of mortgage assistance programs.
Joanna A. van der Vant is Certified Fraud Examiner and holds Master Degree in Accounting and Finance Management from Keller Graduate School of Management and MBA from Leon Kozminski Academy of Europe and is a member of the Alpha Chi National Honors Society. Joanna A. van der Vant is the current accounting department supervisor of Sol Property Management LLC. She and husband Arthur have two children.