Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
There has been much debate about what caused the housing meltdown that occurred from 2008 through 2010. One aspect that has not been debated; mortgage fraud was at the center of this historically difficult time in our nation’s history, and played a major role in causing millions of homes to go into foreclosure. For this Capstone Project, I will analyze the devastation mortgage fraud caused in the lives of people that were displaced from their homes, workers that lost their jobs and the continued devastation that still remains due to a shrinking housing market. I will also examine the lasting financial and physiological effects that foreclosure brings especially when an unsuspecting homeowner has been the victim of mortgage fraud. In addition, I will explore the warning signs that were missed by the government and analysts, and determine if additional measures should have or could have been taken to mitigate the damage to the economy, and explore whether a crisis of this magnitude could ever happen again. Finally, I will look at families that were hit hardest due to these foreclosures and examine the long lasting effects as they try to find stability and rebuild their lives after they weathered such a tumultuous and tragic ordeal. The U.S. housing market has always been perceived as the backbone of the U.S. economy and when the housing industry thrives, so does many other industries that are directly tied to the housing market such as real estate agents, consumer lender’s and construction workers, to name a few. That’s why the housing crisis of 2008 has had such long lasting and far reaching effects on the economy and devastated and displaced so many families that are only now, some eight years later, finally beginning to rebuild their lives. Mortgage Fraud is a broad topic; therefore, I will narrow my focus to include the following areas: • Sub-Prime Mortgages • Mortgage Backed Securities • Rating Agency Manipulation • Forged Foreclosure Documents • Unethical Professionals • Greed I will also analyze the key factors that make the mortgage industry more prone to fraud and analyze whether mortgage fraud rates have decreased since new consumer protections were implemented by the Consumer Fraud Protection Bureau as part of legislation created by Dodd-Frank.
Freeman, Darlene B., "How Mortgage Fraud Helped Facilitate The 2008 Housing Crisis" (2016). Economic Crime Forensics Capstones. Paper 13.