I know Mortgage Fraud has been a really sensitive subject around AR lately, and I wanted to share with you what we went over at our office meeting yesterday. Scott Daniels had an outrageous case a couple of days ago and Bryant Tutas wrote a fabulous post on this same subject. As some of you may know, Rick and I received 2 fraudulent offers this past week and as common as this may be, it’s important for Realtors, as professionals, to be able to identify fraud and report it. Here are some red flags that will help you identify questionable transactions:
- Receive request from a buyer or mortgage broker to increase the listing price of a property after the buyer is under contract.
- Credits to a buyer or price reductions written into separate addenda rather than the body of the contract even though the credit/reduction is part of the initial offer.
- Taking properties off the market to facilitate a refinance (lenders ask owners whether they are selling their property when applying for refinance since lenders typically lose money on the first few months of a loan.)
- Unusual credits to buyers for “redecorating” or “remodeling”
Fortunately for us, we were able to spot fraud because we received a fax by mistake. In that fax the numbers as well as signatures from both buyer and seller had been forged, the numbers had been changed, and there was an appraisal request showing an amount in excess of $300,000 above purchase price.
Mortgage Fraud is extremely common and we have to do our part to stop it.