Buyer beware, we all know. But, now it shoud be seller beware. And, on top of that, mortgagor beware. The FBI is reporting a significant increase in the number of housing scams.
The types of scams being reported involve false documentation and flipping. Basically, buyers purchase a low value home, then get a false appraisal, and sell the home for more money – and more money than the property is worth. The numbers are impressive: a 300% increase in cases from 2003 to 2007.
Consumer advocates say enough is not being done to investigate the companies that steer consumers to higher interest rate products. Kathleen Keest, senior policy counsel for the Center for Responsible Lending said “The business standards have really sunk across the board in the last few years. The federal regulators were just asleep at the wheel.”
Especially as the housing market changes over the next 12 months, make sure you know who you are dealing with and what you are buying, in terms of your house and your mortgage.