Real Estate and Mortgage Fraud, "The Investigative Process" ~ Inside Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS' General Membership Meeting

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Tamara Neiman, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI

Niema reminded the audience "had the housing market not collapsed, we would not be in this crisis." She remarked, "we have always, always had lender fraud," adding, "if the market goes up," then complaints are limited. "Prosecutors want to see a loss," indicating, the larger the loss, the more likely a prosecution.

"In the past," she stated, that we had "conventional loans - ARMS and Fixed with lots of qualifications, Not in sub-prime." The qualification process for "sub-prime (loans), was very scant." Meaning, a FICO score and whatever was stated on the application was all that was needed.

She mentioned that although every single case if different, (welcome to real estate), in many cases, non-english, speaking persons were given "blank applications." These homeowners with loan payments that are up to or exceed their income, are often victimized twice. After Notice of Defaults are recorded, scam artists prey on these homeowners who often "sign-over title," temporarily - until everything is all worked-out. Only, the mislead homeowner is eventually worked out of their home~literally.

Pat Kapowich, "Negotiating Smooth Transactions Throughout The South Bay"