Mortgage Scams in a Weak Housing Market

Today, there's less identity fraud and misrepresentation of income or employment to obtain a mortgage, mainly because of stricter validation criteria, says David Johnson, vice president of fraud and consortium solutions for CoreLogic, a provider of financial, property and consumer information. But other types of fraud are replacing those scams. Here are three:


Vacant House Targeted by Squatters, Scammers and Thieves

Empty houses — those either awaiting foreclosure or where the owners have moved out for other reasons — might as well have a "kick me" sign on them. Actually, make that "vandalize me" sign.

U.S. Will Remain a Nation of Homeowners

An analysis over a 31-year period across 23 metropolitan areas compared the ownership benefits in terms of appreciation and interest deductibility and the costs homeowners incur with downpayment, taxes, insurance and maintenance. When it was assumed that renters reinvested any savings in rent (versus a higher monthly mortgage payment), maintenance and downpayment, renters had a greater portfolio than buyers in 91 percent of the areas examined. However, when the model allowed renters to spend any savings rather than reinvest those savings, 84 percent of buyers came out ahead.