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The Mistakes Renters and Buyers Make That Could Cost Them Big

Mar 11 2016

Kyle Alfriend, a real estate agent in Dublin, OH, was with his contractor at a vacant home he had for sale, changing the locks after someone had broken in.

Imagine his surprise when a couple walked in, thinking they were meeting someone who was going to rent it to them. Turns out the trespasser had taken photos and posted an ad seeking renters on Craigslist.

The couple had brought along two months’ rent, plus their security deposit — a total of $5,700 in cash. Had Alfriend not intercepted them, they would likely have met with the fraudulent advertiser and lost their money.

“Renters and buyers can never be too vigilant in today’s marketplace where REO fraud can be prevalent,” notes Kimberly Ellison, manager of mortgage fraud investigation for Fannie Mae’s Mortgage Fraud Program.

Here are some current scams Fannie Mae has been seeing:

No Legal Title

The Scam

People trying to rent or sell a home to which they have no legal title. Often it’s a foreclosed property where someone gained possession through squatting and then tries to profit by renting out the place, says Shaolaine Loving, an attorney in Las Vegas.

Beware of Scams

Learn how to identify and avoid scam artists who promise immediate relief from foreclosure.
 

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FAQs

Find the answers to common questions concerning your mortgage and the various options to avoid foreclosure.

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Glossary

Visit our glossary of key terms to increase your understanding of the foreclosure options available.
 

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