Friday, September 25, 2009

real estate agent covers seller's bum

A vigilant real estate agent in New York state has concluded what seemed like a never ending quest to make certain her seller could not be accused of colluding to defraud a lender in a FHA mortgage transaction. Facts...the seller assist in the contract exceeded FHA guidelines. This was not noticed until underwriting and the parties were never notified except via the closing instructions which arrived - as usual - at the last moment prior to closing.

The lender CAPPED the seller assist.

When this happens a GOOD title agent will contact all parties and explain prior to closing. This gives parties a chance to decide if they want to close or postpone and renegotiate the contract.

In this case the parties were not working with a GOOD title agent. They were working with a BAD title agent who chose instead to make the HUD-1 meet the lender and FHA instructions but to adjust the actual checks to reflect the terms of the sales contract.


The seller had not attended closing and neither had the real estate agent. The seller was represented by an attorney who saw no problem with this arrangement. Once the real estate agent realized what had happened, she recognized the fraud and the potential for criminal penalties and called everyone including the attorney, lender and title agent and everyone thought she was a nut. So, she called me.

It took her some doing but she has fully documented her efforts to rectify the transaction and it was the mortgage lender who - though they will not acknowledge the wrong doing of anybody - decided to send the seller the balance of proceeds so that the seller has in hand the full amounts reflected on the HUD. So, she covered her client and she is stopping there.

What bugs me about this case is that none of the professionals except this vigilant agent can see the fraud. Geez, how can they be so out to lunch?

A forensic audit of this file would have held all parties accountable for the fraud. I commend this agent. She was spot on with her assessment of the wrong doing and as for the other so-called professionals in the transaction, the seller's attorney, the title agent, the mortgage broker, the mortgage lender AND the layman, the buyer - all of whom should be capable of reading the HUD-1 Addendum..........brainless or willful frauds all.

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