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Real Estate Fraud Schemes

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Refinance scam: A lender or mortgage broker promises low monthly payments by consolidating the homeowners debt such as existing mortgages, credit card debt and car loans. The homeowner is pressured into signing a stack of documents and not given time to read them. The end result is a loan that charges very high fees, pay-off phantom creditors and contains terms that are different from what was promised. The lender knows what the homeowner can pay and sets the payments just high enough for the homeowner to default on the loan. The lender then starts the foreclosure process or refinances the loan again charging additional high fees.

Foreclosure Consultant/Equity Purchaser scam: A person representing to be an expert on foreclosure offers to either further help, after a homeowner receives a notice of default and either further encumbers the property or gains title to the property. In many cases this same expert may also take advantage of the distressed state a homeowner is going through while in foreclosure and offers to purchase the home for less than market value and misrepresents to the homeowner the value of the home or encumbrances. 

Fictitious Grantor: Assumes the identity of another, pretends to be that person, pretends to own their property. 1) Sale of property without owner's consent; 2) Encumbering property without legal ownership.

Fictitious Buyer: Loan applicant may or may not exist. A real person's name and personal information may be used without their knowledge. Foreclosure results against a person who never was involved in the transaction.

Loan Fraud: 1) False application by real buyer; 2) False information by straw buyer(flipping) - an individual is solicited and paid for services. Personal information about applicant may or may not be accurate. Applicant has no intention to occupy property. No down payment is made by the applicant. Title is transferrred back to seller after closing. Renters are put into property. Mortgage payments may or may not be made.