Articles

Final Civil Action Borrower Settled Allegations of Making False Statements to HUD for a Home Purchase Under the Federal Housing Administration Mortgage Insurance Program

We received a referral from the Quality Assurance Division of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Philadelphia Homeownership Center concerning a borrower who allegedly made false statements to obtain Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance.  The borrower provided false and conflicting employment and income information, which was used in originating and obtaining an FHA loan.  Further, the borrower certified that he intended to reside in the property but failed to do so.  We referred the violations to HUD’s Office of Program Enforcement for action under the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act.

On December 4, 2009, the borrower obtained an FHA loan to purchase a property in Baltimore, MD.  The borrower falsely certified his employment and income information when he signed the uniform residential loan application.  The borrower also falsely represented on the loan application that he intended to occupy the property as his personal residence.  The property was vacant and was being offered for rent in May 2010, 6 months after the settlement date.  The borrower’s actions violated FHA requirements.  On November 17, 2016, HUD’s Office of Program Enforcement filed a complaint against the borrower under the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act.  After negotiations with HUD, the borrower agreed to pay $10,000 to settle the matter.  The agreement did not constitute an admission of liability or fault by any party.  The borrower made an initial payment of $2,000 on April 11, 2017, and agreed to a repayment plan for the remaining $8,000.

Beverly Place Apartments Subsidized Nonexistent Tenants, Unqualified Tenants, and Tenants With Questionable Qualifications

We audited the multifamily project-based Section 8 program at the Beverly Place Apartments.  We selected Beverly Place because we received a complaint of potential fraud, suggesting that the complex did not have appropriate controls to ensure tenant and unit eligibility.  Our objective was to determine whether the owner administered its project-based Section 8 program in accordance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations and guidance.

The owner did not administer the project-based Section 8 program at Beverly Place in accordance with HUD regulations.  It assisted at least 97 tenants who were either ineligible for assistance or whose eligibility could not be supported.  This condition occurred because the owner did not establish effective control systems, which allowed the onsite employees to commit fraud.  The employees falsified tenant eligibility and did not properly verify tenant income as required by HUD.  As a result, HUD paid the owner more than $574,000 in subsidies for ineligible tenants and incurred more than $227,000 in subsidies for which the owner could not support the tenants’ subsidy amounts.

We recommend that the Southwest Region Director of Multifamily Housing require the Beverly Place owner to (1) repay HUD more than $574,000 for housing subsidies received for ineligible tenants and units and (2) support or repay HUD more than $227,000 for units for which managers either did not have a tenant file or did not obtain required earned income verification reports to verify eligibility.  In addition, HUD should require its contract administrator for Beverly Place to ensure that the owner’s recently implemented quality control program is working as designed.