The Real Estate Investor’s Resource

Turning Intentions into Action

The Impact of Fraud & Foreclosures on Real Estate Investors

Fraud and foreclosures have a huge impact on investors. On one hand, foreclosures as a result of mortgage fraud and the sub prime fall out create huge opportunities for investors to buy at deep discounts. This is low hanging ripe fruit. On the other hand, the reality is that there are numerous negative ripple effects from fraud and foreclosures, which is causing the tightening of standards on investors and making it harder to do business. This is the rotten fruit; and it really stinks!

Certain zip codes have really been hit hard with fraud and foreclosures creating issues for neighborhoods and for real estate investors. The neighborhoods are sitting with vacant and boarded up houses. Normally, this would be great for some investors, who love to buy these types of properties; but the problem is that due to all of the fraud and issues around values of these properties, lenders do not want to lend in certain zip codes. Ethical quick turn investors and wholesalers sit with an inventory of properties in these areas with no means of their clients obtaining funding for them to move the inventory unless they take a loss. Neighborhoods with high vacancy rates and boarded up houses usually have issues with criminal activities such as break ins, theft, drugs and prostitution. How does this change when there are no funds available for these certain zip codes to begin repairing the problem?

Another big and growing issue is identity theft, which has an impact on landlords. With all of the identity theft, the big credit reporting agencies are now requiring tenant screening companies to perform a much more thorough inspection on any company or landlord who applies for tenant and credit screening services. The tenant screening company must now check your credit before providing services and perform an inspection of your office to ensure that you have the proper security measures around applicant’s credit information kept in your office. By the way this inspection is done at your expense.

Fraud and foreclosures displace tenants, causing agencies such as the Atlanta Housing Authority (formerly Section 8) to require more paperwork and thorough investigation of landlords. In addition to all the former requirements, now requirements include an authorization to release information regarding the mortgage on a property (to verify that the mortgage is good standing), proof of incorporation if you are incorporated and/or using a management company that is incorporated, and authorization to check your credit as a property owner. Although this is a reasonable effort to protect tenants, it seems a little invasive for landlords.

Legislation is another issue for investors. Unscrupulous investors using creative investing techniques in unethical ways are taking advantage of people. These people end up in court and the next thing you know, states are trying to outlaw the creative investing techniques all because they have been used in an unethical manner. This is unfortunate especially considering the fact that these same techniques are great when used properly.

For real estate investors, the ripple effects of fraud and foreclosure are long and wide. Although there are negative effects, there is also a very positive side and an opportunity. The key is in being prepared. Prepare your investing business for the rotten and the ripe fruit, the costs and the benefits of today’s real estate investing market. “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” ~ Elmer Letterman

September 13, 2007 Posted by | foreclosure, fraud, Real Estate Investing | Leave a comment