SANTA ANA, Calif. – June 8, 2011 – Banks and distressed home sellers stand to lose more than $375 million this year from a short sale scam that has sellers and banks agreeing to sell homes at very undervalued prices, according to a new study by CoreLogic.

In discovering the short sale fraud scam, CoreLogic analyzed 450,000 nationwide short-sale transactions in the last two years.

Here’s how the scam often works: Borrowers who are underwater or in financial distress are approached, often by an investment group, and persuaded to sell the property in a short sale at a low price. Soon after the bank accepts the lowball offer, the investment group then resells the house to legitimate buyers at a higher price.

Sixty-five percent of short sales resold within six months that net profits of 40 percent or higher were flagged “suspicious,” which means there is a high likelihood that the lender accepted a low offer, according to the CoreLogic study. These transactions often go undetected by banks, too.

Source: “A Short Way to Short-Sale Fraud,” The Real Deal (June 3, 2011)

© Copyright 2011 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688