Weak housing markets appear to encourage mortgage fraud. Typically, fraud associated with home purchases requires multiple perpetrators, one of whom is the ringleader. While a lender is always the victim, another lender may be involved as a perpetrator. An appraiser, home seller and home buyer are always involved, perhaps innocently, perhaps not. Here is a great example provided by one of my readers. He had his house listed for sale for six months with no takers at the list price of $700K, reduced from over $800K, and finally took it off the market. Shortly thereafter, he received a letter offering him $675K, contingent on his getting an appraisal for $750K. (The letter-writer was the ringleader in this case.) The homeowner did get an appraisal for $750K, perhaps because of his high aski...
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