Fraudulent RE transactions

Inquiring minds are reading that even though struggling homeowners have found some refuge in short sales, there are plenty of fraudulant transactions occuring:

…the jump in short sales has also given rise to a new form of fraud — which, as a recent study by CoreLogic suggests, could undermine the burgeoning practice.

Fraudulent short sales take many forms, but Frank McKenna, the vice president for fraud strategy at CoreLogic and one of the report’s authors, says one arrangement is more common than others.

There are many ways in which fraud rears its ugly head in a housing market going lower:

An agent for the borrower negotiates with the lender to obtain a low selling price for a property, then sells it to a “straw buyer,” or someone with whom the agent is affiliated. The agents are sometimes real estate agents, or employees of businesses that advertise as “foreclosure rescue” specialists, Mr. McKenna said…

In other fraudulent transactions, a borrower might purposefully default on a mortgage he or she could actually afford. The borrower arranges to transfer the property to a friend or relative through a short sale, and the original borrower can remain in the home. The new owner can also transfer ownership back to the original owner through a quitclaim deed, Mr. McKenna said.

The rest of the article is well worth the read.


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