General Real Estate: November 2006 Archives

An email I got Tuesday November 28, 2006:

My husband and I are not specifically on the market at the moment for a property but are always on the lookout for a great bargain. We have children, so school district is a big factor, but if the right place for the right price comes around, we'd definitely be interested in potentially buying a house, as we're ready to settle down. We don't mind a fixer-upper, but aren't looking to do any major, "needs a contractor" work. Our price range is under 400K, as we intend to wrap any debt into our mortgage. We both have good jobs — I work for NAME DELETED as a loan specialist and he is a DELETED — but aren't looking to kill ourselves with a mortgage payment, especially once you wrap taxes and insurance into the whole deal.

(emphasis mine)


This person is a loan officer, and they're wanting to do something that is FRAUD. I mean, I know it goes on, but to be propositioned cold, via the first email I got from this person, to commit a felony (or aid in its commission, thereby making me guilty of conspiracy, another felony) just blows my mind. Admittedly, this particular company is one where you don't have to be licensed to work for them, but still, you should know the big issues like this, and perhaps at least pretend to have some respect for the law and good business practice.

My response?

You do realize that lenders don't go along with this, don't you? Purchase money loans if the purchase price is $400k and the seller gives you back 20k to pay off your debts, the effective purchase price is $380,000 - not $400,000. If you don't conceal it the loan doesn't work. If you do conceal it, it's fraud.

I could use the business. But not so badly as to get involved in this.

No thank you.

Her response?

I may have misrepresented myself and my goals to you. Don't be so quick to judge.

Oh, so now instead of soliciting my cooperation in felony fraud, she's committing entrapment. And I'm supposed to think this is better.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have a firm policy here of not naming specific malefactor companies or individuals (unless they pop up and name themselves!). Telling people how bad any one company in particular may be is beside the point of this website. I'm trying to make a living, and also give people the tools to use to judge as to whether or not they are being lied to, abused, etcetera in their specific instance - what people can do to prevent it, what they can do to improve their situation, what they should do if all the other tools fail and everything falls apart.

However, this one particular company represented by the alleged person in question is one on whom I have extensive amounts of evidence as to how bad their rates are, how misleading their business practices are, how badly they low ball their quotes, and in general, how shoddily they treat the customers that put money in their pocket. If I was going to list the two companies in the mortgage industry that (in my honest opinion) everyone should stay away from, this company would be on that list.

So it is very tempting to name names publicly, just this once. However, the lawyers would then get involved to no particularly good effect for anyone, and this very large company has a lot more resources than I do. Furthermore, I suspect, although I cannot prove, that I might be hurting a very few good loan officers who happen to work for this company in addition to all of the bad ones - and there are a lot of the bad ones working for this company. Finally, as I explained above, the point if this site is not revenge, and it's not punishing evildoers. I am not the Count of Monte Cristo, nor am I a law officer, a prosecutor, or a judge. I'm a loan officer and a Realtor® who is also trying to give people real tools to judge their situations and achieve a better result. So if you are reading this, back off. I will not name names unless you force me to. But solicitations of fraud, and entrapment, from people who should know better and go out of their way to be jerks, really pisses me off, and if you want to force my hand, I really won't regret it very much. I guarantee it will hurt you a lot worse than it will hurt me. Instead of trying to entrap me into a felony, just go away and pretend I don't exist. The type of suckers who are your bread and butter don't read this website anyway, or they sure as heck wouldn't patronize your company!


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