Desperate sellers consider high-risk financing option

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DEAR BOB: We are having great difficulty selling our rural house. It has been listed for sale about eight months with only one "Mickey mouse" offer. The buyer will obtain a 70 percent first mortgage, pay us a 5 percent down payment, and give us a 25 percent second mortgage. However, this is to be an unrecorded "silent second" mortgage. The Realtor says the idea is to make the mortgage company think the buyer is paying 30 percent cash down payment. He says it is done all the time, especially with "difficult" properties like ours. What is your advice about a silent second mortgage for us? --Vickie V. DEAR VICKIE: An unrecorded silent second mortgage is a fraud on the mortgage lender. I know it goes on, but lenders rarely prosecute the borrower or seller. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. However, an unrecorded silent second mortgage is dangerous for you. If you don't record it, and if the borrower doesn't make the payments to you, you can't foreclose to get the property back if your se...