Home is where the fraud is

[tag]Mortgage fraud[/tag] has blossomed into one of the fastest growing [tag]white-collar crime[/tag]s in the country, putting [tag]homeowner[/tag]s on the hook for overpriced houses and pushing up i[tag]nterest rate[/tag]s for all [tag]home-loan[/tag] borrowers. In some cases, scammers purchase dilapidated buildings, obtain fake appraisals to inflate the value and sell the homes for far more than they’re worth.

Real Estate Riches: How to Become Rich Using Your Banker\'s Money

Or, fraudsters will find novice real-estate investors and convince them to sell their good name and credit record. In return, scammers promise to arrange a loan on an investment property, find tenants, make mortgage payments and sell the property for huge profits once it appreciates. Instead, the fraudsters use the borrower’s name on [tag]loan document[/tag]s — and then walk away with hundreds of thousands of dollars in loan proceeds. “No tenants are found, no rental payments are collected, no mortgage payments are made, the house goes into default, turns out it’s not worth anything, and the borrower is left holding the bag and their credit is destroyed,” said Rachel Dollar, an attorney in Santa Rosa, Calif., who represents lenders in mortgage-fraud cases.

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