Old News: The FBI is focusing on Short Sales and Fraud
Mar 18, 2011

The following article was published on the Long Island Board of Realtors Web Site last week:

I am the author and the instructor for the Long Island Board of Realtors Real Estate Short Sale Professional certification class. This is one of the only local board certifications recognized by NAR which satisfies the prerequisites for the SFR certification. In the class I taught last week I made it very clear I disagreed with the advice that was being given by this LIBOR attorney!

I spend a lot of time keeping on top of what is happening in the real estate and short sale worlds and the fact is the FBI is VERY aggressive in regards to determining if a fraud has been committed against a bank. Yet they didn’t just wake to this reality. It has been on going for quite sometime. This new "opinion" is just that; an OPINION and nothing more.

My best advice: DO NOT be a party to a fraudulent document. Disclose, disclose, disclose. Make your seller aware of all offers and do so in writing. If you want to close LESS, then submit all offers to the bank. If you want to close more loans in an efficient matter and you want to help more homeowners stave off the horror of foreclosure then act in an ethical manner.

Do your job the right way, don’t cut corners and should the FBI ever check your files, offer them a cup of coffee, have them sit at your desk and allow them to review all your work. My opinion is they are not looking to punish and arrest all real estate professional who do short sales; just the ones who are actively committing fraud. Yes the law does exist that if a fraud is committed with or without your knowledge you are a party to that fraud. But this is nothing new.

Do your best to work with clients who need a short sale for the right reasons. Do not get sucked into the "scammer trap". The FBI is not looking to stop Realtors from completing more short sales, but it seems like many attorneys would love it if we would.

Philip Tesoriero

National speaker on default real estate and co-founder of Foreclosure Guard

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