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Reader's Digest - Cheated Out of House and Home
Don't let these scams happen to you!

The term mortgage fraud encompasses a grab bag of cons and tricks, perpetrated on victims ranging from average homeowners to novice real estate investors to savvy bankers and the banks they represent. It is, according to FBI Special Agent Ronda Heilig, "one of the fastest-growing white-collar crimes in the United States." ...Mortgage fraud has been around as long as home loans, but recent trends have made it easier -- and far more lucrative -- to game the system. Here's what's driving the crime spree...Avoid Being Scammed. Read more ...

 

You can't be forced to use builder's lender

By Kenneth R. Harney
Special to the Mercury News
WASHINGTON - One of the federal government's top housing officials has this practical advice for anyone negotiating with a builder to buy a new house: You can always say no.

When the builder dangles thousands of dollars of ``free'' upgrades or closing cost discounts in front of you if you'll agree to use the builder's affiliated mortgage lender -- and threatens to withhold those incentives if you get your loan elsewhere -- you don't have to roll over and play dead.

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Home Builders Incentives

Home Builders Incentives
Home Builder "Incentives" to Buyers Under Federal Scrutiny
Have you ever wondered how home builders can offer such generous incentives -- thousands of dollars worth of upgrades, closing cost contributions and other financial goodies -- provided buyers agree to use the builder's affiliated or controlled mortgage company? Are these come-ons legit? ...HUD's Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) investigative staff is interested in possible violations of federal rules in the builder-incentives field.
 

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Builder Incentives

Beware of Builder Incentives - Just say no
Just say no to builder incentives with strings attached
One of the federal government's top housing officials has this practical advice for anyone negotiating with a builder to buy a new house: You can always say no...But federal real-estate settlement rules "require that these incentives be legitimate and not built into the price of the house or the cost of the loan." In other words, builders cannot tempt you with illusory benefits — alleged discounts that you're actually paying for somewhere else in the deal. 

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Foreclosures continue to climb
Monday, 08 May 2006
Foreclosures Up 72 Percent From Last Year
Georgia, Colorado and Indiana Post Nation’s Highest First-Quarter Foreclosure Rates
National foreclosure filings continued to climb in the first three months of 2006, evidence that more U.S. homeowners are struggling to stay current on their monthly mortgage payments...“Foreclosures have now increased in four consecutive quarters and are on track to go above 1.2 million in 2006, which would push the nation’s annual foreclosure rate to more than 1 percent of U.S. households.”
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