Walkaway paves path to prison

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DEAR BENNY: I know someone who has qualified to obtain a second house by stating that he will rent his first house; however, he has no intentions of actually renting it. Upon obtaining the new house, he plans to walk away from the first house, letting it go into foreclosure. He will already own his new house before his credit is hurt by the foreclosure, and he plans to live in the new house until the foreclosure is removed from his credit report in seven years, so he sees it as the perfect plan. Is that legal, especially since he qualified for the new loan with false information? Is there anything I should warn him about? --Kevin DEAR KEVIN: What a clever approach. Your friend will be the head of his class when he is incarcerated. Falsifying information on a mortgage loan application is a federal offense. At the bottom of all settlement statements (called a "HUD-1) you will find the following language: WARNING: It is a crime to knowingly make false statements to the Un...