Nice to (finally) see the MSM reporting this stuff. Johnny come lately, but better late than never. Thanks trex for the link.
There's been so much fraud and deception out there, for years we're talking, that it'll take a decade to wash ourselves clean I think. And for goodness sake, when will the Congressional Housing Bubble and Fraud hearings start already?
Attack of the real estate rip-offs - Urge to cash in on the housing bubble has spawned an industry of schemers
Every boom has a dark side. The merger mania of the 1980s produced insider trading scandals. The ’90s stock bubble was busted for biased investment research.
And so it is with real estate, the hottest market of the past eight years. The urge to cash in on rising home values has spawned a growing share of hucksters, schemers and rip-off artists.
So far, it is tough to know exactly how widespread the problem is. Just as conflicts with stock analysts and bankers didn't come to light until after the Internet bubble popped in 2001 and investors started to get hurt, only now, as the market starts to turn, are complaints over shady real estate practices pouring in.
The market was so hot that everyone was looking to jump in and make a fast buck,” says Martin. “You have a lot of property flipping and false appraisals.”
Stripping people of their home equity has become rampant in the subprime lending market. Credit-challenged home owners who often don't know exactly how much home equity they're sitting on are easy targets, says Allen Fishbein, director of housing and credit policy for the Consumer Federation of America.
“It's pushed by mortgage brokers, who are largely unregulated,” he says. “They have no fiduciary duty to the borrower.”
July 21, 2006
Posted by blogger at 7/21/2006