There were two news stories in the press over the weekend that expose another side to the foreclosure crisis: squatters.
- The police are currently investigating the death of an unidentified man whose body was found in the attic of a garage at a vacant south Minneapolis home. The real estate agent, quoted in the article, believes that the man was a squatter that was living in the 'attic' of the garage.
- In another article from Seattle, reporter Danny Westneat has hit on an intriguing story about a new scam that promises to help find cheap homes for investors/homebuyers by squatting in a foreclosed house in order to force the bank to prove ownership. If the bank can't produce proof, the scammers place liens and try and take legal posession of the property. These vultures are also selling this scam, and charging $5,000 or more in the process, as a way to 'eliminate your mortgage'.
The Center for Responsible Lending released a new study on June 18th that analyzes the demographics of the foreclosure crisis, and finds that foreclosure has disproportionately impacted black and Latino homeowners. The full report is here.
The FBI has released its mortgage fraud report for 2009... and the report indicates that mortgage fraud activity continued to increase in 2009. FBI mortgage fraud pending investigations increased 71 percent from fiscal year (FY) 2008 to FY 2009. The full report is here.