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IRS tax credit safeguards fall short

Key controls missing from first-time buyer program

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A 4-year-old …? How does a 4-year-old get approved for an $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit? While Realtors, lenders, appraisers, home inspectors, escrow officers and every other professional service connected to home sales and financing are lobbying for an extension of the first-time homebuyer housing credit, a recent audit revealed thousands of fraudulent claims and a need for more safeguards to support the popular program. It's disheartening that problems would surface in the one plan that is housing's primary driver, but I guess the fraud disclosure should not come as a surprise. Mortgage scams have been in the news. And, we are just now getting an indication of how many consumers are willing to participate -- especially if they think there is a chance the Internal Revenue Service will not discover their creative maneuvers. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 revised and extended the first-time homebuyer credit provided for in the Housing and Econ...