Shark Alert in Alaska Real Estate Waters

If you have been paying any attention at all to real estate news in Alaska you should have noticed this story in the Anchorage Daily News about nine people charged with mortgage fraud.  They had almost every level of a real estate transaction involved in the scheme.  They had buyers, sellers, loan officers, a title officer, and an appraiser.  It’s pretty amazing that they were able to pull this kind of stuff. 

What people don’t think about is that real people are often hurt in these scams.  In this particular case I don’t know of anyone hurt, but just this past week I had an offer on a house from what I think may have been a  scam artist. 

A buyer who was working with another Realtor wanted to purchase one of my listings but didn’t have good enough credit to qualify for a loan.  This buyer found a company in Oregon that purchases homes for buyers who can’t qualify and then leases it back to them until they can improve their credit score enough to purchase it themselves.  This buyer sent the Oregon company a large cash deposit and the the company then made an offer on our listing. 

The seller countered back with a higher price and evidence that this buyer could actually close.  Oh…the seller wanted to see that the buyer actually had some earnest money.  Although they had accepted a large cash deposit from the potential lessor, they failed to send even the $500 check that they offered as earnest money.  After waiting a week and leaving lots of unanswered messages the seller has decided that this buyer is not really serious about purchasing the property.

So now the poor person who wanted this house is out the large cash deposit and our seller is back to finding another buyer for their home…the only winner is the scammer who is still holding the cash.  This shark needs to be gutted and fileted.  I think I’ll start fishing with a HUGE hook tomorrow.