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Schemes to hijack the American dream

Part 2 of 5: Inside real estate's fraud crisis

Editor's note: In this five-part series, Inman News examines the rising tide of mortgage fraud in the U.S., giving an overview of the problem, describing how it works, explaining obstacles to fighting it and describing technologies that combat it and legislation that aims to defeat it. To read the entire five-part report, "Inside real estate's fraud crisis," with two bonus stories, subscribe to Inman News. The dilapidated Detroit house had collapsed, leaving only the roof visible, riddled with holes. And, the FBI discovered, it had sold for $25,000 one day and $250,000 the next – an egregious example of one of the most common types of mortgage fraud: the property flip. For a long time, property flips were the most common type of mortgage fraud. Now, occupancy fraud and "chunking" are making gains, experts say, with a plethora of other swindles close behind. Residential real estate loan fraud is a national epidemic, costing communities nationwide an estimated $1 billion in 2005, c...

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