Special financing spells trouble for condo buyer

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Real estate broker Hildegard Merrill was the listing agent for a condominium. A licensed real estate agent since 1967 and a broker since 1981, Merrill is very experienced with condominium sales, referring to herself as the "condo queen." She is also a mortgage broker. John Warren visited Merrill's condominium open house and expressed an interest in buying the unit. With his permission, she checked his credit and found his FICO (Fair Isaac Corp.) score was very low. Warren told Merrill he had only $50,000 for a down payment, but she agreed to loan him her $27,000 sales commission to make a 20 percent down payment. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. When Warren said he didn't have a co-borrower with a better FICO score, Merrill suggested her daughter, Charmaine, would become a co-borrower in return for $10,000. Warren agreed to the broker's plan, and Merrill filled out her daughter's loan application, showing Charmaine earned $7,500 monthly as a waitress in Aspen, Colo. The mortgage ...