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While the Department of Housing and Urban Development - Office of Inspector General (HUD OIG) recognizes that there are times when Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM) refinances are beneficial to consumers, HUD OIG is issuing this industry alert to warn lenders, originators, and sponsors that the OIG has identified instances of fraudulent appraisals being used to increase HECM loan amounts in order to qualify senior borrowers for HECM refinancing. HUD OIG special agents have reviewed HECM refinances over the last several years and have identified indications of fraud in hundreds of…