There are so many ways to earn money from Real Estate although with these volatile financial markets of recent years, investing in real estate market is still not an attractive option. However, the promise of a quick profit can make many to venture into Real estate speculation. It is hard to resist such temptations.
But people who misrepresent, distort or falsify information when refinancing or buying a home could be held accountable for any shortfall when this property is sold. Not to mention that they can be accused of mortgage fraud and that involves criminal charges.
“Straw Buying” is perhaps, one of the most common forms of fraud. This mortgage fraud occurs when a person with good credit is convinced with the promise of a quick profit, to put his name on a mortgage application form for a property that another person wants to buy.
Therefore, to protect your identity and your credit you should take in consideration several tips that can help you to avoid being part of a dangerous mortgage fraud scheme.
1| DO NOT DO BUSINESS with PEOPLE YOU DO NOT KNOW
When you are selling or buying a home, use only a real estate company, a licensed real estate agent or any other licensed industry professional.
Do not sign any documents until you have carefully read them and fully understood what you sign.
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2| CHECK the SALES HISTORY of ANY PROPERTY that YOU INTEND to BUY
Make sure you can find a copy of the land title.
Find if another person has perhaps, a financial interest in this property.
If a deposit is required on your part, make sure the money are held (in trust) by a notary/lawyer or a real estate company.
3| DO NOT ACCEPT MONEY, DO NOT GUARANTEE a LOAN or DO NOT ADD YOUR NAME to a MORTGAGE
If you have decided to buy a property, then it is OK to accept money or to add your name to a mortgage application, but if you allow your all personal information to be used in different mortgage schemes, even for short periods of times you can be held responsible for any loss.
You can be held responsible as accomplices even after the real estate property is sold.
4| GET an INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE
Talk to your notary or lawyer about any methods of protection such a title insurance or any other alternative ways to protect you and your family.
5| DO NOT GIVE OUT YOUR PERSONAL IDENTITY INFORMATION
Only so you can protect yourself from identity theft. Make sure you know who are you dealing with and how your identity information will be used.
Check periodically your mail, credit cards, bank statements and any other financial statements. See if there are some inconsistencies between them and the latest statements.
Shred all your documents before throwing them away.
6| DO NOT BE TEMPTED by the OFFER of a QUICK PROFIT
Do not be tempted by the offer of a quick profit in a real estate transaction, especially an offer sounds too good to be true.
If you suspect a fraud scheme call the police department.