FRAUD - CAN YOU SPOT IT? Fraud has erupted it's ugly head, just as the economy is at it's ugliest. Is this a coincidence? NOT! Desperate times call for desperate measures. There are all kinds of fraud cases running rampant in this country.
I just read a post from Lydia Puller, Mill Valley CA. In it she discusses 2 incidents of those trying to scam the system. Those are just the tip of the iceberg. I've turned down so many short sale listings for those same reasons. People can be very creative in their ideas of what they are trying to accomplish for the sake of earning money. Even real estate agents. Some of it is unknowing, naivete. But there are lots of legitimate scammers out there. And it is up to us to discern and educate the ignorate.
I've had 2 real estate agents, one even in my office who holds the same 4 letter designation, come to me and ask me to list their homes and either split the commission or pay them a referral fee. When I explain to them that this is fraud and illegal, they seem ignorant. Amazing! I tell them it has to be an arms length transaction, they cannot benefit in any form, never mind that they will not make a dime from it as they are asking the mortgage holder to forgive their debt. I'm truly amazed!
If real estate agents and other professionals don't know it, imagine how many homeowners in the general public are simply unaware of all the rules and regulations, much less how difficult it is to process a short sale.
I specifically liked Lydia's explanation of taking a pass on those listings where the homeowners just didn't get it. If they aren't listening when you are explaining the details, take a pass. When someone is so dead set on running their game, regardless of the rules - RUN! Our license is sacred and should be treated as such. In no way do I want to be involved.
Another scam that I've personally been invited into, is the realtor from another state who has a ready buyer for me. Problem is that I need to list a short sale for the realtor's company and then sell it to an already list of buyers in their inventory - FRAUD! A realtor cannot already have a buyer prior to listing a short sale. There are cases of this type currently being prosecuted.
I checked out a site that someone mentioned - the FBI's site - and came up with this link of a really amazing case: http://denver.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel10/dn061010.htm
Desperate times make for desperate people. Stay wise, stay strong, and don't give into temptation, no matter the pie in the sky $$!