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Is this happening in your area? Do you see short sales selling grossly under market value?
I was sitting in a short sale seminar being conducted by a loss mitigator for one of the major banks. She made the passing comment that one of the BPO providers had called her, as the listing agent had offered to pay the BPO person $500.00 to "come in at" $400,000 when they had verbally told the listing agent that they had thought the property was worth $500,000.
Now, the listing agent, I presume, was probably selling the house to one of their investor clients or perhaps a relative, and wanted to get them the best deal possible, because they were an investor and could sell the house a few years down the road, or if it was relative, they would then be getting, literally, a steal...
Is that fraudulent-- you bet it is. As a matter of fact, a couple of years ago in California they passed a law which addressed short sale valuation fraud, so I suspect back then as I do now, that it was probably happening.
Now, there was a house in my neighborhood, that recently sold for the low, low price of $605,000. Two months prior, two similar models of the same house sold for $799,000 and $720,000. Prices seemed to be improving.What spiked my interest was the fact that this house selling for $605,000 drastically lowered all the prices in the neighborhood, but it was also double ended by a Realtor who I would describe as having less than sterling credentials. Her buyer client bought it with 20% down. OK, fine, great, he probably will never walk away... Me, not being one to take things at face value decided to investigate further, especially seeing the house listed for rent on Craigslist shortly after closing. So, I checked the County Records at the Recorders office. Yep, my suspicions were correct. The note had also been recorded, and right there in no uncertain terms was the owner occupancy clause, right there in paragraph 6 of the note...
To make matter even more incredulous, a neighbor called me wondering about the value of his house. He lives 2 doors down from the $799,000 house, and he wants to refinance, knows about the sale of the two houses on our street which sold for over $700,000, and was thinking that he could refinance... He can't. He is below the 80% LTV for a refinance, and furthermore, some extra cash he ws going to put in to bring his loan into the super conforming amount so it would be below $625,500 wouldn't work. I told him about the recent sale of the house just like his that sold for $605,000. He mentioned he knows the guy who bought it-- it is someone he works with, as it turns out. I asked him the guy's name, and it is not the guy who is on title... Hmmmm... So, he asked the guy at work, in a roundabout way, about getting a great deal on the house, and the guy says, "yeah, I guess so". It may have been a relative or friend who bought it. Now, next time I am at County Records, I will check to see if he lost his home somewhere else, which I believe is the case.
Point is... My neighbor cannot get a 3.5% interest rate, and is stuck with his 6.5% interest rate. Why? Because there was a fraudulent short sale (occupancy and price) and the house was sold originally to some people who it appears had acquired the home only because of mortgage fraud.
I happened to mention this at a meeting of Brokers I meet up with on occasion, and some said that they have suspected this was going on. Either that, or is it possible for the bank to be so ignorant of the fact that two homes sold recently on the same street for significantly more? I doubt that (although nothing would surprise me). What I'd like to see the banks do is not allow double ended short sales. Also, it was one of those short sales with no lock box and it was impossible to get in due to showing restrictions.
So, has anybody out there seen this happening in their neighborhood? These unscrupulous agents are killing us-- AGAIN!
I will be posting, starting next week, blogs about mortgage fraud-- how they did it, and the result of it.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.