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Understanding Mortgage Fraud

By Lee Keadle Published 06/29/2007 | Real Estate
Mortgage fraud is quickly becoming one of the most notorious kinds of crime perpetrated in this country. In fact, recent years have seen a marked increase in the number of mortgage frauds and in the amount of money and property concerned. Careful measures have been taken in order to combat the spread and proliferation of this kind of crime but it still seems to happen. Home buyers and lenders alike are encouraged to take some time and learn about who they are dealing with as both sides of this equation have been heavily exploited by those who would profit off the hard work of others and betray the trust that is necessary in a real estate transaction. A good question is : "how can we combat this kind of crime and how does one identify it?" Well let's have a look at the two most well known kinds of Mortgage Fraud.

The most well known form of Mortgage Fraud concerns the supplying of false information during the loan application process. By using false identities, criminals can lure unsuspecting lenders into situations that leave the lender holding the property which is not worth nearly what it was declared. This is typically done by having one member of the scam list the home at a certain price and then the other member of the scam comes along and gets financed for the home's drastically over inflated price. The funding is put in place and then the scammers depart with the difference between the loaned amount and the actual value of the home. As this is done with false credentials the lender really has no way to track down the scammers.

The next most seen type of mortgage fraud involves a scammer assuming the identity of a home owner and then either selling the property or borrowing heavily against the equity or borrowing and using the property as collateral. In this instance the actual owner ends up either without a home or owing huge amounts of money that they did not borrow.

Mortgage fraud has become one of the "crimes of choice," take the time when borrowing to learn about your lender and their record in the community. Do your homework before entering any major financial agreement and know who you are dealing with at every step.

Lee Keadle is a professional RealtorŪ serving the Charleston real estate market. For more information on Charleston homes & properties, contact Lee today or visit www.searchforcharlestonrealestate.com.