Real Estate Frauds continued

Common Characteristics of a Value Fraud

These are common characteristics of a value fraud:

  • The original contract allows for a nominee or an assignment, and a flip occurs (often for both deals to close on the same day).
  • The lender only knows about the second contract with the higher value.
  • No realtor is involved (especially in the flip), or if there is a purported realtor, real estate commissions are rebated to one of the parties.
  • The lender has not done an appraisal or independent valuation.
  • You are asked to act for the lender, the nominee buyer (fraudster or dupe) and the original (fraudster) buyer, but the lender does not know you are acting for the original (fraudster) buyer, as the lender does not even know about the original contract.
  • Often you are asked to complete the transaction by preparing documents so that the property transfers from the innocent seller to the nominee buyer at the lower price set out in the original contract.
  • The high ratio mortgage amount (above the original contract price) is paid into your trust account, and you are asked to pay out the excess funds to the original (fraudster) buyer, the nominee buyer or some other seemingly unconnected person.
  • The nominee buyer may sign a power of attorney in favour of the original (fraudster) buyer so that the nominee need not even attend at your office.
  • You may be paid higher than usual fees.