One of the reasons loan officers and homebuyers were able to get away with so much fraud prior to the mortgage meltdown was the lack of public records and information in general.
That is no longer the case, and homebuyers in need of financing need to be extra careful nowadays because underwriters Google everything – borrowers, employers, self-employed businesses, and even renters.
Googled Homebuyer #1
We recently had a transaction questioned because the borrowers rented out their $500,000 departing residence to a person who already owned a $1.5 million home.
The underwriter Googled the name on the rental contract and rightfully wanted to know why the renter would want to downsize into a rental that was much smaller and in a vastly inferior neighborhood.
Googled Homebuyer #2
We had another situation where the borrower was subject to numerous criminal allegations that will likely prevent him from garnering business for his consulting firm (killing the deal), and this too came up with a Google check because it was all over the news.
What To Watch For
Underwriters also Google employers to make sure they exist, no longer exist (if the application says a business with losses is closed down), or that public records match what is stated on the loan application.
We have had borrowers, for example, claim to not have ownership interest in a business to avoid providing corporate tax returns, but the internet made it clear that they were owners.
Sometimes borrowers try to fool us, and sometimes they are just not careful enough when filling out their loan applications.
Either way, they need to be ultra-careful these days because there really is no getting away with anything.
The Bottom Line: Once an underwriter thinks the borrower might be trying to mislead, she will not want to approve the loan under any circumstances b/c of the risk.
Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
(855) 855-4491 | DRE# 01524255, NMLS# 335646