Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Dallas Real Estate- Straw Buyers

Dallas Real Estate- Straw Buyers

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!!

Comment balloon 6 commentsDonna Harris • September 24 2006 04:59PM


It seems that scams are the Nigerian national past time. Preying on people's greed usually is a safe bet if you're a scammer. Seems like there are a few people who should have taken notice, especially if the property was bought and sold so much. -Charles

Posted by Jacqulyn Richey, Las Vegas Real Estate (Prominent Realty Group) over 12 years ago

Hi Donna,  What always amazes me is why these people who are abviously very intelligent, don't apply their intelligence to doing something above board and legal.  Is there some sort of thrill being low down and dirty?

Glad to see you're on girl.

Posted by Kristal Kraft, Selling Metro Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022 (The Berkshire Group Realtors) over 12 years ago
I have had an unusal amount of inquiries to an add I placed online  a couple of weeks ago from out of country buyers. They always seem sort of strange...Maybe this is why!
Posted by Scott Turner (Turner Residential) over 12 years ago
Yes we have seen it in Windermere, a very wealthy person used this to buy one block of our downtown businesses and real estate including a church!  He has some zoning issues with the church but the rest he pulled off by doing this.
Posted by Teri Isner, GRI, CRS, CIPS (Keller Williams Realty at the Lakes) over 12 years ago

Yup, here we go again. Sometimes I think the criminal element just recycles the same old crooked practices.

I first heard the term straw buyer almost 15 years ago. It was fraud then and it's fraud now.

Anyone who is aware of it in the transaction can be held liable. Realtors, LOs, appraisers.....

Posted by Mark Flanders (Consulting) over 12 years ago
I usually get a fair amount of out of country interest in our auction listings - have to assume that they're the real thing - but they have to abide by the same rules as all other prospective buyers including putting deposit into escrow, etc.
Posted by Linda Mardi (AuctionFirst) over 12 years ago