Speaking of mortgage fraud soon be a felony offense, back when we were tracking craigslist rental listings for freshly closed condos at One Rincon Hill a plugged-in tipster first provided the following tip in March of 2008:
Public Records info is interesting. What it shows me is that several new owners at One Rincon either have or are about to commit occupancy fraud. This is often overlooked and dismissed by those involved including mortgage agents, however, it is a serious issue. Owners sign occupancy affidavits at the close of escrow, and unless their deed of trust includes an “assignment of rents” rider, the property is owner occupied. My public records search shows 68 units have closed. I’m sure more have that don’t show up yet and I’m also convinced that my list of properties for rent is smaller than actually what is or has already been rented.
According to our tipster’s analysis at the time at least ten and as many as sixteen of those 68 units (i.e., between 15 and 24 percent) closed as “owner occupied” purchases but were immediately advertised on Craigslist for rent. And at least three (3) of those “fraudulent” purchases were made by licensed real estate agents.
Perhaps those ten to sixteen were the only bad seeds out of all the buyers at One Rincon and other new developments about town (rather than ~20% of purchases if one were to extrapolate from the numbers above).
Then again in the words of our tipster: “How many units have already been rented that haven’t been advertised or [escaped my analysis] above?”
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