It can’t happen here … mortgage fraud

Not irrelevantly, my wife and I are going to look at a bank-owned foreclosure property tomorrow night, selling for 100K less than both its county assessment and the most recent (100%) refinance. The house next door, I’ve discovered from the public records, which had a different owner, has also been foreclosed upon. Bank-owned properties are suddenly popping up in the MLS all over Northern Virginia. [Note: This is not a recommendation to buy now if you’re looking for a “good deal.” It’s way too early in the cycle for that.]

The Housing Bubble–A Credit Bubble,” by David Bernstein, The Volokh Conspiracy, April 10, 2007

In national surveys, Georgia has been identified as a fraud hot spot. But Fulmer says that is because people there have become so aggressive about identifying the problem. She says she wonders how many homeowners across the country bought in neighborhoods where values were driven up by fraud but don’t know it yet.

“It happens everywhere and anywhere,” said Fulmer, who is now vice president of Interthinx, an anti-mortgage-fraud company. “If the true scope was discovered, I think it would cause a major crisis.”

Housing Boom Tied To Sham Mortgages: Lax Lending Aided Real Estate Fraud,” by David Cho, The Washington Post, April 10, 2007


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