Have you ever heard the term "Straw Buyer"? I read about this for the first time today. A straw buyer is someone who buys a property only on paper, straw. Their name appears on the deed, but only as a cover up to the person who actually owns it. Apparantly this was really big in the 80's, but it's making a comeback.
In Frisco, in Collin County, which is the next county north of Dallas, there is a lot of interesting stuff going on, which some people are calling mortgage fraud. You know all those emails you get from Nigerian people? This is a Nigerian person who actually made it work. People actually answered his cry for money. He asked people to buy properties in their names and that he would be responsible for all the mortgage payments. He also would then buy the properties back and forth with people to increase the values. This sounds like a CA or NV thing, not a Dallas thing. The particular townhomes he did this with went up in value from $381k in 2004 to $670k in May of 2005. However, after so much flipping, many properties went into foreclosure in the original owner's name and the bank is now trying to sell to loan off for only $451,900 and have reduced it to $439,900. They probably won't get that if they bought it for $381k just 2 years ago. We're having steaday appreciation, but more like 3-5%, not upwards of 120+%. The average in this particular community is $228k. Big difference!!
Here's the entire story. Stay away from those Nigerian scams that we've all been warned about! If it's too good to be true, it's not true!!