Beware of Latest Mortgage Scam
In a scam known as shotgunning, thieves are applying for multiple home loans simultaneously. When they get the money — sometimes millions — they take it and leave the country.
Authorities are blaming Eastern Europeans affiliated with what is known as the Russian Mafia. "It's the fraud of the year," says Paul Doman, director of Title Insurance Co.’s Lenders Advantage Equity Division. "They can pull in excess of a million dollars out of the home, enough so they can live a good life back wherever they came from."
First American and other title companies are trying to stop this and other schemes by forming a consortium in which applications for title searches are run through each other's systems. That way, multiple applications on the same property can be spotted before rather than after the fact.
Source: United Feature Syndicate, Lew Sichelman (12/31/06)