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Posted: 7/22/2008 2:32:32 PM EDT
In 2005 Banks in the US started giving Home Mortgages to illegal aliens....think about this long and hard as we look at the US dollar losing value:


http://money.cnn.com/2005/08/08/news/economy/illegal_immigrants/
www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/06/15/MNGRMJEGM81.DTL

The TRUE reason gas is so expensive is because the dollar lost value....why did it lose value? What kind of a freckin moron will give hundreds of millions of dollars out PER frickin bank in illegal immigrant home loans and call that sound economic policy?

.....There's something no news reporter has yet to mention across America. What percentage of home loan failures were down by....those Illegal Immigrants. If they were given ARM Loans in 2005.....2008 and 2009 would be about when they couldn't afford their payments any longer.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:36:45 PM EDT
I suspect the number of illegal alien mortgage holders is a drop in the bucket and not a significant contributor. How is an illegal's inability to pay the mortgage any different than a legal residents regarding foreclosures?

Brian
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:40:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 2:41:07 PM EDT by Screech]

Originally Posted By brian4wd:
I suspect the number of illegal alien mortgage holders is a drop in the bucket and not a significant contributor. How is an illegal's inability to pay the mortgage any different than a legal residents regarding foreclosures?

Brian


First off, It should never have happenned! We should have sent these leeching bastards out of the USA!
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:42:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 2:43:17 PM EDT by 2fewtoys]
""How is an illegal's inability to pay the mortgage any different than a legal residents regarding foreclosures?""

He can sell off everything in that house leaving a gutted shell and run to Mexico and live very well with his booty. Plus you will pay for the damage he did to the economy...He won't.

He will come back when his tequilla funds run dry and repeat the process.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:42:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By brian4wd:
I suspect the number of illegal alien mortgage holders is a drop in the bucket and not a significant contributor. How is an illegal's inability to pay the mortgage any different than a legal residents regarding foreclosures?

Brian


I am more concerned about the legal residents (read citizens) ID that was stolen to GET the mortgage loan.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:42:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Screech:

Originally Posted By brian4wd:
I suspect the number of illegal alien mortgage holders is a drop in the bucket and not a significant contributor. How is an illegal's inability to pay the mortgage any different than a legal residents regarding foreclosures?

Brian


First off, It should never have happenned! We should have sent these leeching bastards out of the USA!


No shit Einstein. However, I don't recall US citizenship or legal residency being a condition of property ownership in the US.

Brian
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:43:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 2fewtoys:
""How is an illegal's inability to pay the mortgage any different than a legal residents regarding foreclosures?""

He can sell off everything in that house leaving a gutted shell and run to Mexico and live very well with his booty. Plus you will pay for the damage he did to the economy...He won't.

He will come back when his tequilla funds run dry and repeat the process.


So can a US citizen.....

Brian
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:44:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 2:45:13 PM EDT by brian4wd]

Originally Posted By rexydg7:
I am more concerned about the legal residents (read citizens) ID that was stolen to GET the mortgage loan.


Agreed w/correction. My wife is a legal alien - Greencard - and her name is on the mortgage.

Brian
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:44:51 PM EDT
Any factual data about the number of illegals with mortgages,
or is this just anti-illegal BS spread in a chain email?

What lender would give a mortgage to an off the books illegal with no credit history being possible?

Needs moar facts.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:46:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Any factual data about the number of illegals with mortgages,
or is this just anti-illegal BS spread in a chain email?

What lender would give a mortgage to an off the books illegal with no credit history being possible?

Needs moar facts.


Stated income loans - it has happened.

Brian
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:46:23 PM EDT
Call me racist, but reading through the local foreclosure notices for amusement (finding the loser of the day!) over half of the note holders have Hispanic last names.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:46:52 PM EDT
Oh, just put it on the taxpayer's tab.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:46:54 PM EDT
Cant wait to see how the two La Raza spokesmen defend this, gonna be good
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:47:10 PM EDT
"""No shit Einstein. However, I don't recall US citizenship or legal residency being a condition of property ownership in the US."""


Are you saying we should allow every phuck on this planet to use our Banks to finance a home in the US? What sound economic policy. Almost as sound as letting some schmuck with a Mexican ID that's likely fake borrow hundreds of thousands out of YOUR bank.

I think I might get me a Mexican ID....borrow money from a bank to buy a home....over offer on a house and ask the seller to kick me back $20,000....then flee with the money....after I've gutted the home.

Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:48:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Any factual data about the number of illegals with mortgages,
or is this just anti-illegal BS spread in a chain email?

What lender would give a mortgage to an off the books illegal with no credit history being possible?

Needs moar facts.


Oh hell dude.. where have you been?

we had a group here in town... every frackin one illegal, .. stated income loans it was.. they had 10 houses, claiming they were making 300-400K annually... they were.. each of them, problem was it was from the pot they were growing in the houses.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:48:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By brian4wd:

No shit Einstein. However, I don't recall US citizenship or legal residency being a condition of property ownership in the US.

Brian


you can make your point, but don't be a dick about it
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:49:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By brian4wd:

Originally Posted By rexydg7:
I am more concerned about the legal residents (read citizens) ID that was stolen to GET the mortgage loan.


Agreed w/correction. My wife is a legal alien - Greencard - and her name is on the mortgage.

Brian


yeah.. you are right... you know what I meant though.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:50:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By brian4wd:

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Any factual data about the number of illegals with mortgages,
or is this just anti-illegal BS spread in a chain email?

What lender would give a mortgage to an off the books illegal with no credit history being possible?

Needs moar facts.


Stated income loans - it has happened.

Brian


Stated income is one thing, but how does an illegal qualify otherwise?
I've heard of much ID theft, NEVER heard of one ending up with a mortgage in their name, YET.


I don't know, and I don't like illegals, and I don't want to pay for dumbfucks who bought too much house, but this whole concept here just seems to be stretching it a bit. I dunno, would like more info.

FWIW, any seemingly illegals I've seen aren't owning, they are section 8.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:50:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 2:53:13 PM EDT by 2fewtoys]
He can be a dick...his comment is not relevant.

We're talking banking policy gone wrong in America.......not land ownership.


And YES Banks decided in 2005 to give full fledged mortgages to NON-US Citizens....that they KNEW couldn't pay the loans off....and they knew those borrowers could just flee the country back to their country with no punishment.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:51:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Any factual data about the number of illegals with mortgages,
or is this just anti-illegal BS spread in a chain email?

What lender would give a mortgage to an off the books illegal with no credit history being possible?

Needs moar facts.


The same lenders who loaned money to people with no down payment, shitty credit, and no income verification.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:51:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rexydg7:

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Any factual data about the number of illegals with mortgages,
or is this just anti-illegal BS spread in a chain email?

What lender would give a mortgage to an off the books illegal with no credit history being possible?

Needs moar facts.


Oh hell dude.. where have you been?

we had a group here in town... every frackin one illegal, .. stated income loans it was.. they had 10 houses, claiming they were making 300-400K annually... they were.. each of them, problem was it was from the pot they were growing in the houses.





aww what the fuck
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:52:22 PM EDT
Someone in the trailer paerk got drunk and thought this shit up?
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:52:38 PM EDT
I suspect we've got 2 empty houses on our block as a result of this but can't say for sure. 8+ people living in 2BR/1B.


I was talking with a friend a while back that worked at Countrywide--he said when he left, he had a monster stack of loans on his desk that were bigtime flat-out fraud. He believes a large portion of the writeoffs up to that point (April) were instances where people took loans out and left with the money (or sold a single property multiple times).
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:52:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 2fewtoys:
He can be a dick...his comment is not relevant.

We're talking banking policy gone wrong in America.......not land ownership.



Now THAT might be the understatement of the month, right there.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:53:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By crurifragium:
Call me racist, but reading through the local foreclosure notices for amusement (finding the loser of the day!) over half of the note holders have Hispanic last names.


Yeah, and how likely is it that Hispanics suddenly became so much more
financially irresponsible\incompetent than everyone else? NOT very likely
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:54:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 30Caliber:
I suspect we've got 2 empty houses on our block as a result of this but can't say for sure. 8+ people living in 2BR/1B.


I was talking with a friend a while back that worked at Countrywide--he said when he left, he had a monster stack of loans on his desk that were bigtime flat-out fraud. He believes a large portion of the writeoffs up to that point (April) were instances where people took loans out and left with the money (or sold a single property multiple times).


I've heard even street gangs were getting into a scam of this sort
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:57:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 2fewtoys:
He can be a dick...his comment is not relevant.

We're talking banking policy gone wrong in America.......not land ownership.


And YES Banks decided in 2005 to give full fledged mortgages to NON-US Citizens....that they KNEW couldn't pay the loans off....and they knew those borrowers could just flee the country back to their country with no punishment.


The citizenship of the mortgage holder doesn't matter - banks fucked up regardless.

Brian
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 2:58:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 2fewtoys:
He can be a dick...his comment is not relevant.


It was relevant to Screech's comment.

Brian
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 3:01:54 PM EDT
2005 was the first year they started loaning out to illegals for mortgages..so I say it does matter.


In 2000 I was Active Duty in California and had a green card holder in the military under me. He was listening to the spanish radio station one morning and broke out laughing....curious I asked him what I missed.....He said the Dealerships in California would take just a utility bill to get a new car...and he knew Mexicans would get the new vehicles and just haul ass south with them without paying for them.

He also mentioned that they are told to get into the US and get lists of Social Security numbers....you can sell those lists in Mexico....

Financially our Banks have made some of the worst decisions in human history as they are allowing Mexico and South America bankrupt our economy.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 3:07:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 2fewtoys:
In 2005 Banks in the US started giving Home Mortgages to illegal aliens....think about this long and hard as we look at the US dollar losing value:


http://money.cnn.com/2005/08/08/news/economy/illegal_immigrants/
www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/06/15/MNGRMJEGM81.DTL

The TRUE reason gas is so expensive is because the dollar lost value....why did it lose value? What kind of a freckin moron will give hundreds of millions of dollars out PER frickin bank in illegal immigrant home loans and call that sound economic policy?

.....There's something no news reporter has yet to mention across America. What percentage of home loan failures were down by....those Illegal Immigrants. If they were given ARM Loans in 2005.....2008 and 2009 would be about when they couldn't afford their payments any longer.


Not even close.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 3:15:35 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 3:19:56 PM EDT
I think I need to lose my ethics and think of ways to screw you all out of money since it seems to appear the majority ....don't give a chet they got robbed.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 3:29:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 2fewtoys:
He can be a dick...his comment is not relevant.

We're talking banking policy gone wrong in America.......not land ownership.


And YES Banks decided in 2005 to give full fledged mortgages to NON-US Citizens....that they KNEW couldn't pay the loans off....and they knew those borrowers could just flee the country back to their country with no punishment.


I sincerely doubt this. Banks would not loan money to people if they knew that the people would not pay the money back. They aren't in the business of losing money.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 3:38:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By civprod:

Originally Posted By 2fewtoys:
He can be a dick...his comment is not relevant.

We're talking banking policy gone wrong in America.......not land ownership.


And YES Banks decided in 2005 to give full fledged mortgages to NON-US Citizens....that they KNEW couldn't pay the loans off....and they knew those borrowers could just flee the country back to their country with no punishment.


I sincerely doubt this. Banks would not loan money to people if they knew that the people would not pay the money back. They aren't in the business of losing money.


The guy that issued the loan isn't stuck holding the bag. He's sold the note and all the risk off long before it becomes an issue.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 3:47:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 30Caliber:

Originally Posted By civprod:

Originally Posted By 2fewtoys:
He can be a dick...his comment is not relevant.

We're talking banking policy gone wrong in America.......not land ownership.


And YES Banks decided in 2005 to give full fledged mortgages to NON-US Citizens....that they KNEW couldn't pay the loans off....and they knew those borrowers could just flee the country back to their country with no punishment.


I sincerely doubt this. Banks would not loan money to people if they knew that the people would not pay the money back. They aren't in the business of losing money.


The guy that issued the loan isn't stuck holding the bag. He's sold the note and all the risk off long before it becomes an issue.


True, but eventually it is going to end up with someone that is holding the mortgage and the same applies. A bank would not end up holding a loan if they know that the person will not pay it. Ultimately there would be someone down the line that would refuse to buy the mortgage because it is worthless and if the original lender cannot sell the mortgage then they probably would not make it to begin with.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 3:54:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 2fewtoys:
2005 was the first year they started loaning out to illegals for mortgages..so I say it does matter.


In 2000 I was Active Duty in California and had a green card holder in the military under me. He was listening to the spanish radio station one morning and broke out laughing....curious I asked him what I missed.....He said the Dealerships in California would take just a utility bill to get a new car...and he knew Mexicans would get the new vehicles and just haul ass south with them without paying for them.

He also mentioned that they are told to get into the US and get lists of Social Security numbers....you can sell those lists in Mexico....

Financially our Banks have made some of the worst decisions in human history as they are allowing Mexico and South America bankrupt our economy.



Oh my, now you have done it. Our resident internationalist La Raza spokesmen are gonna decend on your ass with a vengence
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 3:56:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By brian4wd:
I suspect the number of illegal alien mortgage holders is a drop in the bucket and not a significant contributor. How is an illegal's inability to pay the mortgage any different than a legal residents regarding foreclosures?

Brian


The big difference is lack of legal action that can be taken against one. They arent eligible to hold a legitimate job so most of them are going to be paid under the table. This means, they couldnt financially qualify for the loan because they had no proof of actual income. They also are not subject to wage garnishments because they are off the radar. They also do not have Social Security Numbers to assign a credit history to, so if they go bad on the loan, they just dive back into the Lock-ness to never be seen again.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 3:58:53 PM EDT
They had a little help getting those "loans". And the fuckers who loaned it knew exactly what they were doing.

I cite the "S&L crisis", the "oil crisis", the "airline crisis", too many more to list.

The .gov will always step in, and the big wigs know it. They bank on it. It pays.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 3:59:58 PM EDT
Mortgage lenders gave people loans that they couldn't afford. They lied for the people applying for loans. They lied to the borrowers as well, sometimes claiming a smaller monthly payment that it actually was. $2000 a month verse $3000 a month. It has nothing to do with illegals.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 4:02:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By brian4wd:

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Any factual data about the number of illegals with mortgages,
or is this just anti-illegal BS spread in a chain email?

What lender would give a mortgage to an off the books illegal with no credit history being possible?

Needs moar facts.


Stated income loans - it has happened.

Brian


Stated income is one thing, but how does an illegal qualify otherwise?
I've heard of much ID theft, NEVER heard of one ending up with a mortgage in their name, YET.


I don't know, and I don't like illegals, and I don't want to pay for dumbfucks who bought too much house, but this whole concept here just seems to be stretching it a bit. I dunno, would like more info.

FWIW, any seemingly illegals I've seen aren't owning, they are section 8.


I have a good friend of mine here in FL. He is a Nam vet, agent orange cancer, the whole 10 yards..

He bought a house, after the storms when insurance and taxes went through the roof here, he could barely manage to pay his bills (100% service connected disabled) He tried to get a reverse mortgage so that he could use the equity he had in his home to help pay down the bills, his homeowners insurance alone was 10K a year... he could not get the REVERSE mortgage because an illegal had purchased a home in Orlando by stealing his identity and using it to gain a home which was foreclosed 9 months later... destroyed my friends credit rating and even the REVERSE mortgage company would not work with him.

I was there when he had the company on speaker phone arguing with them about it being a REVERSE mortgage.. seems they did not care... his credit was shot.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 4:02:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By civprod:

True, but eventually it is going to end up with someone that is holding the mortgage and the same applies. A bank would not end up holding a loan if they know that the person will not pay it. Ultimately there would be someone down the line that would refuse to buy the mortgage because it is worthless and if the original lender cannot sell the mortgage then they probably would not make it to begin with.


Except that most of the loans made during this period were bundled up into securities, then sliced up into packages. These were highly rated, and in great demand. The further they got from the original lender, the harder it became to determine what was good and what wasn't. And these things ended up in all sorts of investment vehicles, not just at banks.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 4:03:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 4:05:02 PM EDT by 30Caliber]

Originally Posted By civprod:
True, but eventually it is going to end up with someone that is holding the mortgage and the same applies. A bank would not end up holding a loan if they know that the person will not pay it. Ultimately there would be someone down the line that would refuse to buy the mortgage because it is worthless and if the original lender cannot sell the mortgage then they probably would not make it to begin with.


See here (better than I can explain it)
http://www.insurancenewsnet.com/print.asp?n=1&id=442587&innID=657903474&ref=patrick.net


Here's how it worked. After buyers with less than stellar credit were approved for a mortgage, lenders would bundle a bunch of iffy loans and sell them to investment banks, which would repackage these into Franken-loans and sell them to investors. By working hand-in-glove with the rating agencies which were paid large fees for their involvement institutions managed to get masses of these mortgage-backed securities rated investment grade. All of a sudden risky consumer loans were reconstituted into presto! something seemingly no more risky than a government Treasury bond.


And thus it's dumped into every corner of the world.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 4:09:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 30Caliber:

Originally Posted By civprod:
True, but eventually it is going to end up with someone that is holding the mortgage and the same applies. A bank would not end up holding a loan if they know that the person will not pay it. Ultimately there would be someone down the line that would refuse to buy the mortgage because it is worthless and if the original lender cannot sell the mortgage then they probably would not make it to begin with.


See here (better than I can explain it)
http://www.insurancenewsnet.com/print.asp?n=1&id=442587&innID=657903474&ref=patrick.net


Here's how it worked. After buyers with less than stellar credit were approved for a mortgage, lenders would bundle a bunch of iffy loans and sell them to investment banks, which would repackage these into Franken-loans and sell them to investors. By working hand-in-glove with the rating agencies which were paid large fees for their involvement institutions managed to get masses of these mortgage-backed securities rated investment grade. All of a sudden risky consumer loans were reconstituted into presto! something seemingly no more risky than a government Treasury bond.


And thus it's dumped into every corner of the world.


All of the greedy fuckers need to be shot. They knew EXACLY what they were doing, just a new spin on an old scam with more weasles working together to steal more cash.

So... here we are.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 4:09:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rexydg7:

I have a good friend of mine here in FL. He is a Nam vet, agent orange cancer, the whole 10 yards..

He bought a house, after the storms when insurance and taxes went through the roof here, he could barely manage to pay his bills (100% service connected disabled) He tried to get a reverse mortgage so that he could use the equity he had in his home to help pay down the bills, his homeowners insurance alone was 10K a year... he could not get the REVERSE mortgage because an illegal had purchased a home in Orlando by stealing his identity and using it to gain a home which was foreclosed 9 months later... destroyed my friends credit rating and even the REVERSE mortgage company would not work with him.

I was there when he had the company on speaker phone arguing with them about it being a REVERSE mortgage.. seems they did not care... his credit was shot.


Not sure what you're getting at - ID thiefs should be hung by their toe nails IMO.

Brian
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 4:21:30 PM EDT
It was a house of cards that would have fallen with or without the 'help' of illegal aliens. Factoring in the large population of illegals just makes the mess even larger when the cards fall.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 4:30:00 PM EDT
can we even ask if they are an illegal when tey apply for a loan wether car, house, boat?hank
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 4:33:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gixracer:
can we even ask if they are an illegal when tey apply for a loan wether car, house, boat?
thank the dems for the immigration policy and lack of border control


That would not be accurate, plenty of republicans love illegals at least as much as a democrat.......
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 4:37:20 PM EDT
Enough citizens got sub-prime mortgages on their own. Remember, they were banking on rising equity such that they could re-sell and make a profit. I remember reading about a lot of people getting zero principal loans. They were making only interest payments with nothing towards the principal. Talk about overly optimistic. It didn't work out the way they had hoped, did it?

Last, the impact of illegal aliens would be negligible.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 5:37:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By colklink:

Originally Posted By gixracer:
can we even ask if they are an illegal when tey apply for a loan wether car, house, boat?
thank the dems for the immigration policy and lack of border control


That would not be accurate, plenty of republicans love illegals at least as much as a democrat.......


There is absolutely NO doubt that BOTH parties are pro-illegal

Anyone got the breakdown, by race, of the forclosures?

IIRC it lists Hispanics as having half of them, I simply

don't believe that would be possible without the illegals

participating in those statistics to a considerable degree
Link Posted: 7/23/2008 8:04:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By 30Caliber:
I suspect we've got 2 empty houses on our block as a result of this but can't say for sure. 8+ people living in 2BR/1B.


I was talking with a friend a while back that worked at Countrywide--he said when he left, he had a monster stack of loans on his desk that were bigtime flat-out fraud. He believes a large portion of the writeoffs up to that point (April) were instances where people took loans out and left with the money (or sold a single property multiple times).


I've heard even street gangs were getting into a scam of this sort


They were:

www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=13865759

All Things Considered, August 22, 2007 · The housing boom of recent years has turned mortgage fraud into a big business — so big that some of the nation's largest gangs are getting into the act.

It is hard to get precise numbers on just how much mortgage fraud there is. The FBI recorded more than $1 billion in mortgage fraud losses in fiscal 2005, but even that number is thought to be understated.

"Our lenders tell us that figure is very much on the low end of the scale," says Corey Carlyle, senior director of government affairs at the Mortgage Bankers Association. "I've seen figures as high as $4 billion, and again, that is just what it cost the industry in 2006."

And while street gangs only account for a portion of that, the fact that they have moved to mortgage fraud as a money-spinning enterprise worries law enforcement officials. They say it is part of a larger trend: gangs searching for ways to launder drug-dealing and gun-selling dollars.

Chicagoland, the city and the surrounding Cook County area, has been one of the areas hardest hit by the intersection of gangs and mortgage fraud.

Consider the Black Disciples gang: Some of its members were involved in a case of mortgage fraud a couple of years ago. The price tag for that case alone: $70 million.

Jim Wagner, who previously investigated white-collar crime cases for the FBI, is now the president of the Chicago Crime Commission.

"We had information from the FBI about Vice Lords [another Chicago-area gang] that there was perhaps $80 million in fraudulent mortgage activity," Wagner says. "So it has been a significant problem, at least in the greater Chicago metropolitan area, and I suspect it is occurring in other cities, as well."

It is unclear exactly how gangs migrated from street crimes to white-collar ones. Law enforcement officials suspect that tougher gun laws and sentencing guidelines may have played a role in the shift. When street gang members were sentenced to serve time in federal institutions on gun charges, they got an unexpected new criminal education from the inmates incarcerated there.

"All of a sudden they were talking to and meeting with a different class of criminal, some who had participated in financial fraud themselves," Wagner says.

The idea was to break up the gangs so they couldn't reconstitute themselves behind bars. The unexpected result was the addition of released gang members to the ranks of white-collar criminals.

Wagner says white-collar criminals made a good case: They told gang members that they could make more money and do less jail time if they focused on fraud instead of guns and drugs. And that small epiphany, coupled with a red-hot housing market and cheap money, created the perfect storm of conditions for mortgage fraud.

Joe Ways, another former FBI fraud expert, says many of the scams now start with gangs getting a mortgage on a property they already own.

From there they "get an inflated appraisal for it, resell it a couple of times over, and when they think they have run the course on that scheme on that particular property, they just walk away from it, and walk away from the mortgage," he says.

The scheme affects more than just lenders. Innocent buyers are hit, too. The crooked appraisals have a ripple effect: "Comps" — or comparable assessments — made on the value of other houses in the neighborhood yield inflated prices. That means innocent buyers end up overpaying for their houses and are saddled with an overvalued, hard-to-sell property.

And the gangs seem to be staying one step ahead. The Mortgage Bankers Association's Carlyle says the simpler schemes are getting more complicated and harder to track.

"There is no limitation to the ingenuity of fraudsters and criminals," Carlyle says. "I am hearing cases about appraisers' identities being taken so a very qualified appraiser may not know that they are approving appraisals being made in their name."

The Chicago Crime Commission's Wagner agrees that the problem is getting harder to battle. The gangs are covering all the angles.

"They have even created some of their own companies," Wagner says. "They are adept at creating paperwork and identifications and creating pay stubs and W2s and fictitious employers."

In other words, they can create all the paperwork needed to get a loan. And it is here where one might find the only bright spot in the recent credit squeeze that has made loans so hard to get: Wagner says gangs trying to push their mortgage fraud schemes are having trouble getting those loans, too.
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