What is ‘Occupancy Fraud’
A type of mortgage fraud, whereby the borrower lies about whether or not the home will be owner occupied. Occupancy fraud happens when the borrower says that a home will be owner occupied, when in reality it will not be. Mortgage lenders typically offer lower rates to mortgages on owner-occupied homes, rather than investment properties. When occupancy fraud occurs, banks take on too much risk because they are receiving a lower interest rate than they should be for the delinquency risk that exists.
Explaining ‘Occupancy Fraud’
Lenders typically charge higher rates on mortgages for non-owner occupied homes, because of higher delinquency rates. Delinquency rates are often lower for the owner-occupied home because people do not want to lose their private residence and become homeless. There is a lot less attached to losing an investment property.
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- Fraudulent income overstatement on mortgage applications during the credit expansion of 2002 to 2005 – academic.oup.com [PDF]