Yesterday afternoon, I received a call from a Buyer who was in front of one my listings. I spoke to them briefly and made an appointment to show them the house today at 11:00. Well, later last night, I got a call from a Mortgage Broker who had the Buyers connected in on a conference call. He proceeded to tell my about his Buyers and how they had seen a house they were interested in but he wanted to know how much the house would appraise for.
He went on to say how he was also a Real Estate Broker and he works with Lenders that do not have to have seasoned funds, so as long as the house appraised for high enough, his Buyers could do a no money down deal. Hmm…..Now this of course sounds a little fraudulent to me. So I ask him, "How they do that?"
Well, according to this thief…Oops…I mean Mortgage Broker/Real Estate Broker, the Lenders he works with, will loan these Buyers 80% of the appraised value so the purchase price just needs to be 80% lower than that. I played dumb, so he explained to me, "That if the house would appraise for $220,000 we could still NET the Seller $176,000. Of course the Seller would have to contribute 6% towards the Buyer's closing costs out of that amount". My excitement mounted.
"Wow" I said "You mean we can write a deal at $220,000 and my Seller will get about $165,000 before they pay commissions and their other related costs?" "Now, can you explain to me why this is not mortgage fraud and a federal offense?"
His answer was "I do this all the time and the Lender doesn't care." Well, being the good little Broker that I am, I told him that he is suggesting to me that we commit loan fraud and he is telling me he does this all the time. So, I politely asked him which licensing authority he would suggest I contact first, to report this felony to. Can you believe he hung up on me? The nerve of some people. The Buyers were on this conference call with us so I wonder if they have been enlightened? I doubt it.
On a related matter, this got me thinking today, when I was doing my daily MLS Hot sheet study. I saw a house listed at $217,000 that closed yesterday at $167,000. Damn that's low, so I decided to do a little more research on it. This property was listed at $177,000. The day it went pending the list price was changed to $217,000. Then 3 weeks later it closed at $167,000(according to the MLS). Does that sound fishy to you? Does it sound like an inflated purchase price to cover a "down payment"? It does to me.
Folks, desperate Sellers and desperate REALTORS® create prime hunting ground for scammers. Please study up and learn how to recognize fraud in all it's ugliness. If you participate in these types of transactions you may very well lose your livelihood and your freedom. So please be careful.
Don't make "P.I." Broker Bryant take you down. Do you know how to recognize fraud?
Here are some links to a few resources for you. I plan on keeping my license, how about you?
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*** "P.I." Broker Bryant picture courtesy of Danny Smith