The real estate sector in the United States is growing, but so are the scams and frauds associated with it. Though homeowners are becoming more informed, they are still susceptible to scams. For victims of real estate scams, the battle for justice can be long drawn, given the complex nature of real estate crimes.
Here we share with you some common real estate crimes that you should be wary of:
- Home title theft: In this fraud, scammers fraudulently obtain a property’s title without the legal homeowner’s consent. Once the scammers transfer the ownership of the property to their names, they can sell the property, use it as a collateral to secure loans, or rent it without the knowledge of the legal homeowner. If you are looking for a home title theft attorney, get in touch with Mr David L. Fleck.
- Mortgage fraud: Mortgage fraud occurs when a consumer, a mortgage broker, or a real estate agent misrepresent information on their loan application. Often homeowners lie about their income so that they can get larger amounts of mortgage. In some cases, mortgage brokers provide false information about borrowers so that the loan gets approved and they get their commission. There are also cases where fraudsters forge the property documents and take a loan against the property which is not theirs. Mr David L. Fleck. is also a mortgage fraud protection attorney. Know more about his practice areas here.
- Rental fraud: Scammers duplicate rental postings from legitimate real estate sites, change them, and repost them. So, would-be tenants instead of contacting the legal homeowners get in touch with scammers. The would-be tenants are tricked into paying an upfront fee to rent a property. Would-be tenants lose their money and do not even get to stay at the property. Fake ads can hurt property owners as many legitimate real estate sites may bar the original homeowners from posting genuine ads after they receive complaints from duped people.
- Foreclosure relief scam: Often some homeowners fall on hard times and get behind on their mortgage payments. Unscrupulous scammers try to take advantage of this vulnerable situation of homeowners. Using public records, they target such homeowners. They tell homeowners that they can help them save their homes by reducing their mortgage payments for a large and upfront fee. Often to save their homes, gullible and distressed homeowners fall prey to such fake claims.
- Mortgage wire fraud: The targets of escrow wire frauds are usually to-be homeowners who wish to buy a new home. An escrow fraud usually occurs when to-be homeowners are about to close the deal. In this fraud, to-be homeowners get an email, phone call, or text from a fraudster purporting to be from the lending company. The to-be homeowners transfer the money thinking that they’re dealing with the genuine lender. However, in reality the money is wired to the fraudster’s account where the fund is immediately withdrawn. As the money could be down payment or closing costs, it is a significant amount and could leave homeowners with growing debt.