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Full Response to an Empty House: Public Safety Strategies for Addressing Mortgage Fraud and the Foreclosure Crisis

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2010
42 pages
This report presents a detailed overview of the mortgage fraud and foreclosure problem in the United States and successful and effective responses by State and local jurisdictions in addressing the problem.
The 21st century has seen foreclosures and mortgage fraud at all-time highs, threatening the stability of entire neighborhoods. In January 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, brought together experts from across the country to examine solutions in recognition of the recent economic trends fueling mortgage fraud, foreclosures, and neighborhood instability. Jurisdictions from Indio, CA, Dallas, TX, Indianapolis, IN, and Baltimore, MD shared their experiences developing comprehensive and collaborative responses. In addition, experts from Miami-Dade County in Florida, Wayne County in Michigan, and Fulton County in Georgia focused on how to identify and respond to mortgage fraud. The result of these series of discussions was a detailed snapshot of mortgage fraud and foreclosures, including their causes, their impact on neighborhoods, and jurisdictions' responses. Participants agreed that the effects of mortgage fraud and foreclosure are devastating to communities, creating dangerous conditions that fuel crime, lower property values, and foster despair among residents who watch their neighborhoods deteriorate around them. There was also consensus over the importance of action, which transforms into solutions. The report is intended to serve as a guide to government and law enforcement officials across the United States seeking to address these challenges in their communities. 77 notes

Date Published: May 1, 2010