by Michael R. Allen
Case here reflects the national rise in mortgage fraud – Robert Patrick (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 23)
Sorry for the delay in linking to this article. Read through and find just one of many tales of speculators’ using easy ‘n’ quick mortgages on historic homes in south city and straw buyers to make money. The effect inflates neighborhood rehab housing markets beyond recognition, encouraging legitimate rehabbers to list finished homes at prices grossly beyond their value. Perhaps these stories aren’t publicized because politicians hungry to take credit for a city housing market boom are avoiding looking at the cold hard facts to the contrary.
Don’t get me wrong; I am all for strong housing values. That’s why stories of mortgage fraud are disturbing, because in the end they do more to harm stable, high housing values than to help. Hopefully prosecutors will take these cases seriously.