Fraud continues as Bloomberg reports on the latest scam: Banks Face Short-Sale Fraud as Home ‘Flopping’ Schemes Spread:
“Two Connecticut real estate agents found a way to profit in the U.S. housing bust: Buy low, sell fast. Their tactic was also illegal.
Sergio Natera and Anna McElaney are scheduled to be sentenced in Hartford’s federal court in August after pleading guilty to fraud. Their crime involved persuading lenders to approve the sale of homes for less than the balance owed — known as a short sale — without disclosing that there were better offers. They then flipped the houses for a profit.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the California Department of Real Estate and mortgage finance company Freddie Mac have warned that such schemes may be spreading after a plunge in values left homeowners owing more than their properties are worth. The scams threaten to deepen losses for lenders that are increasingly agreeing to short sales as an alternative to more costly foreclosures”