Non-profit organization Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC) sent out a notice to consumers last week warning them to more closely monitor their home equity lines amid a rise in fraud.
Using a recent FBI Mortgage Fraud report as a backdrop for the notice, ITAC said identity theft is increasingly being committed to compromise borrowers’ home equity lines of credit, which often go unmonitored.
“A home equity line of credit is an ideal target for identity thieves because it’s often big dollars, and if consumers are not using the account, they may not check the balance,” said ITAC President Anne Wallace.
“We urge customers to monitor their home equity account as they do their other accounts, either online or by paper statement, for suspicious activity,” said ITAC board member Mary Biron, vice president and senior manager at Harris Bankcorp, Inc.
Earlier this year, scores of homeowners received letters from various lenders such as Countrywide and Indymac notifying them that they could no longer draw upon their home equity lines, stirring up anger and panic among cash-strapped borrowers.
On top of that, some homeowners have reported credit score dings as a result of the reduction of available credit, creating a bit of a double-whammy for the ailing American consumer.
But I guess they won’t have to worry so much about the mortgage fraud…