August 18, 2010

The recent Calgary mortgage scam has led the Calgary Real Estate Board to respond with some basic but essential tips so home buyers can avoid getting defrauded.

For those who missed the scam in the news, here’s a quick summary from the Calgary Herald:

“The nominees, known as straw buyers, were asked to allow their names to be used to obtain a mortgage and were then told that the accused would take it over in their own name after six months… In exchange for their identities, each straw buyer allegedly received between $3,000 to $5,000. Eventually, the accused walked away from the scheme with a large amount of money, leaving the nominees holding the mortgages.”

Two men have surrendered to police to face charges of fraud while one man is still wanted by authorities.

Sounds like some shady business but unfortunately, whether it’s through mortgage fraud or a moving company scam, home buyers can make easy targets.

The Calgary Real Estate Board’s tips sheet is useful for any home buyer. Here’s a short list of some of their most essential tips:
  • Before you buy, have the realtor show you the listing history on the property
  • Get a comparative market analysis of the property
  • Use a realtor or other independent representation for your purchase
  • Employ a licensed mortgage broker

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