Over the last few months, we have noticed a huge increase of falsified documents submitted by applicants. With the wide range of technological opportunities, it has become easy for applicants to create fake pay-stubs, bank statements and rental references. “According to industry studies, 80% of fraudulent incomes reported in lending applications actually are really misinterpretations in the original form. This said, customers with no financial source of income or with low income, can find an alternative to faux pay stubs to qualify for a loan” or rental homes. “A number of video websites have surfaced that can teach anyone with a little interest how to create counterfeit pay stubs to get a clear pass.” With this risk, it has become critical that property management companies be extremely vigilant in verifying, and in some cases re-verifying application documents submitted by applicants. In doing so, the turnaround time for application processing has almost doubled. “Income fraud is the easiest to perform and the most difficult one to be identified by the lender, but before going any further with this process, one must know that creation of any such phony pay stub is illegal and absolutely off limits! This can result in a misdemeanor and/or felony and can cost offenders incarceration and/or fines.” Applicants are often unaware of the repercussions associated with such fraud and believe a denial of the application may be the only consequence they could face.
Most recently we dealt with a case where an applicant not only falsified their paystubs, but they also falsified the employment. The supposed employer was promptly contacted, and we received a faxed confirmation that the pay stub in question was real; however further investigation revealed that not only was the pay stub fraudulent, the applicant had someone on the inside at that company who defrauded the confirmation. The fact that we were able to save that owner from a possible eviction is huge and speaks to why they need a professional property manager that has the knowledge and means to conduct comprehensive applicant verifications. The Broker of Horizon Properties even visited a company in person to verify someone’s paystubs when everything looked good on paper, but something didn’t seem right. The applicant turned out to be a huge drug dealer.
It is important to know that Horizon Properties conducts thorough application processing; in doing so, we hope to provide our property owners with the best and most qualified tenants to care for and reside at their properties.