Scams start to unravel as economy falters

(Source: Calgary Herald)

About two years ago, in a lawyer’s office, Linda put her signature on a document she believed would help someone buy a house.

She thought it was an easy way to make some money, while doing good for someone she understood just needed her “good name” to get a leg up.

But the small act of putting pen to paper has left Linda and her husband Rick (not their real names) on the hook for a house trashed by its tenants and facing a $100,000 lien on the home they’ve lived in for a decade.

The couple are part of a growing group of Calgarians who have fallen victim to a common mortgage fraud scheme known as “straw buyer.”

And, with the economic downturn, police and housing officials are bracing for those numbers to keep rising.

Read Gwendolyn Richards’ full article “Mortgage frauds on the rise in Calgary” in the Calgary Herald (May 6, 2009).

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