Mortgage fraud is one of the biggest threats in the title industry. As active title agents, ALTA members must be aware of this threat and of the resources available to fight fraud. Included on this page are links from the FBI, the DOJ, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and more to help your firm uncover mortgage fraud.

For further reading on how to prevent all forms of fraud, be sure to check out our Title News Article, “Preventing Title Insurance Fraud.”

Industry Impact

As the national association for the title industry, ALTA represents almost 3000 firms and over 100,000 employees nationwide, and ALTA members operate in every state and county of the United States. Our large presence and our members’ commitment, as title professionals, to prevent title fraud in the home-buying process, make us the perfect ally in the elimination of mortgage fraud.

System for Award Management (SAM)

The System for Award Management (SAM), formerly known as the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS), is an electronic searchable database listing all persons suspended or disbarred from receiving federal contracts or benefits. Settlement agents, title and escrow companies are subject to suspension or debarment if it has been determined they acted inappropriately on a transaction involving the U.S. government. Access to SAM is free and only contains the names of individuals or companies who have been suspended or debarred by the federal government.


ALTA Testifies at House Financial Services Hearing on the Title Industry's Role in Detecting Mortgage Fraud

In June 2009, former ALTA President Frank Pellegrini testified at a House Financial Services Subcommittee on “Strengthening Oversight and Preventing Fraud in FHA and other HUD Programs.” Pellegrini, CEO of Prairie Title in Chicago, IL, told Members of Congress, "title professionals enjoy a unique vantage point from which to observe, identify and thwart instances of fraud. Title agents are the independent third party to the transaction whose only interest is to the integrity of the transaction and the protection of our customers. Through training and experience, we hone our ability to spot improper transactions every day." To read the press release, read his written testimony, or hear his oral testimony, click here.

Mortgage Fraud Links

Fannie Mae – Be Your Own Best Advocate: Mortgage Fraud Prevention
A comprehensive guide for consumers detailing resources, common schemes,  and tips to identify improper practices.

Freddie Mac - Avoiding Mortgage Fraud
Layman’s guide to Mortgage Fraud, including examples and links to assistance.

FBI-Mortgage Fraud
General description of financial institution fraud and mortgage fraud and links to common mortgage fraud schemes.

DOJ-Mortgage Fraud
A description of the US Attorneys’ efforts to combat fraud and a brief history of the creation of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.

National Association of Realtors - Field Guide to Mortgage Fraud
A compendium of mortgage fraud resources.  Includes links to both federal and state law enforcement and regulators. Consumer friendly explanations of mortgage fraud to assist consumers protect themselves.

Allows consumers to track changes to their credit history and prevent erroneous and fraudulent transaction using their identity.

FTC - Understanding Mortgages
Provides information about mortgages and the home buying process.  Helps consumers defend themselves from being the victims of mortgage and foreclosure assistance scams.