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Mortgage Fraud in Dade County Revisited

Mortgage FraudI am not going to make this one long-winded. After yesterday’s news of 31 arrests by the feds in a mortgage scam ring that spanned from one of Florida’s coasts to the other, you would think people would start re-thinking their beliefs about what is right and what is not when it comes to mortgages.

Alas, this is not the case. I think the fact that this has happened so frequently in our area has otherwise law-abiding citizens thinking that certain things are perfectly fine to do, when in fact they are illegal.

As a real estate agent I am frequently asked “how much will the house appraise for?” Even the very first time I heard it I knew what was going to follow: a quick lesson on mortgage fraud from me.

Who is teaching our Miami-Dade residents out there to ask this question? Is there an infomercial guru pushing that a home which appraises for more than the sales price can be used to tap into the equity? Are there coffee buddies discussing this somewhere? Are Miami housewives talking about this at cousin Maritza’s baby shower?

I am asked this question more often than I would like. And it is always by someone who innocently enough thinks it is ok to get a larger mortgage than the sales price simply because the house appraises for more. It isn’t OK. In fact, it is illegal. Not only is it illegal, it is a federal offense, you know, the FBI?

I was asked this question again yesterday. I could tell from the conversation that followed that they had no idea. They simply wanted to be able to pay off some credit cards with the extra equity.

Let’s start spreading the word about this. Here’s today’s homework: a link to the FBI’s publication on mortgage fraud.

hmmmm…maybe I made this a little long-winded after all. Oh well, it’s not as if it’s not merited.

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These articles are not intended to give legal or tax advice, and you should consult your attorney or financial advisor for additional information.

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