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WASHINGTON – The Federal Housing Administration, in its effort to reduce incidents of identity theft and fraud in FHA’s single-family mortgage insurance programs, has enhanced the social security number validation procedures. Starting June 18, the agency will validate social security numbers for consistency with borrower names and dates of birth. A Mortgagee Letter 2005-25 dated May 24 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development explained that the enhancement is being provided at no cost to the mortgage lender and integrates FHA’s access to various external databases including, in some cases, the Social Security Administration. Lenders will be required to enter the borrower’s name, SSN and birth date at the borrower/address validation screen through the FHA Connection or it functional equivalent. The system will subsequently query various external databases to determine the validity, consistency and correlation of the data and assign them an “acceptable confidence rating” if it matches the borrower’s three data elements with information contained in the other databases. An acceptable confidence rating will allow a case number to be assigned and the lender to continue to process the loan.

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