Jan 06

Mortgage Fraud? In My Town?

larry-200x285There’s been a lot of publicity in recent months about the incidence of mortgage fraud. Most of us think we will never get involved in such a thing. I’m writing from Kamloops BC and you can be sure that fraudulent activity is happening in the interior of BC. Here’s one specific scam that we all need to be aware of.

You are at work and a colleague approaches you. “Hey’” he says, “I know a risk free way to make a large sum of money real quick. And it’s legal too!”

“If you just talk to this guy….he wants to buy a house, but he can’t buy the house in his own name. So, if you are willing, he will purchase the home in your name, supply the down payment, and he will make the mortgage payments by depositing directly into your bank account. Not only do you end up owning a home with no payments, but he will pay you $5,000 up front.”

Some of you may already be thinking this offer is too good to be true….I hope so. Because after acquiring the home which may be used for some purpose that you do not want to be involved with, this mystery man stops making the payments. Your lender then starts to foreclose on this home. Typically, the lender finds that the home has been mistreated in some way, and the value is much less than your special friend (you!) paid for it. Guess who’s going to be responsible for the shortfall on sale of the property, the unpaid interest, penalties and legal costs….YOU!

If this scam–sometimes referred to as the “Straw Buyer Scam,” should come across your path, contact the RCMP commercial crime unit right away. Trust me…you don’t want to jump in on this one. Calgary has been a target market for this scheme in recent months, but coming soon to a town near you….