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Sunday, January 21, 2007

More Trouble for Lenders

by Calculated Risk on 1/21/2007 11:47:00 AM

From the Bradenton Herald: Developer leaves Coast Bank in lurch

A developer unable to complete construction on hundreds of homes has put $110 million worth of mortgage loans in jeopardy for Bradenton-based Coast Bank.

The management of Coast Financial Holdings Inc., parent company of Bradenton-based Coast Bank, announced Friday that it was anticipating problems with loans to 482 borrowers after a local development company said it may not have sufficient funds to complete construction on the homes.
From the Arizona Republic: Valley fighting mortgage fraud wave
A wave of mortgage fraud is rippling through pockets of the Valley, inflating home values through scams called cash-back deals.

Left unchecked, cash-back deals cost homeowners and lenders millions of dollars and could erode confidence and values in Arizona's real estate market.

The fraud involves obtaining a mortgage for more than a home is worth and pocketing the extra money in cash. Neighbors may then discover home values in the area are exaggerated. Homeowners stuck with overpriced mortgages may never recover the difference. And lenders end up with bad loans that, in the long run, could hurt the Arizona real estate market, the largest segment of the state economy.

While the extent of the fraud is unclear, an Arizona Republic investigation into these cash-back deals found organized groups of speculators have bought multiple homes this way, leaving whole neighborhoods with inflated values. Add to these the individual deals done by amateurs who hear others talk about the easy money they made from cash-back sales.

State investigators and real estate industry leaders want more enforcement and greater public awareness to stop the spread of cash-back deals before the damage mounts.

"Mortgage fraud in the Valley has become so prevalent people think it's a normal business practice," said Amy Swaney, a mortgage banker with Premier Financial Services and past president of the Arizona Mortgage Lenders Association.