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Thursday, January 25, 2007

5 Towns Mortgage Scam - Why It Should Matter to You

I have been hearing a lot of buzz from friends in the area regarding a series of schemes where parties interested in selling their homes in the midst of the softening real estate market can unload them quickly for top dollar. This scheme, aside from the obvious illegality being committed on the part of those involved, has been affecting the innocent residents of our community on several fronts.

The deal, as I understand it, works something like this: Buyer offers to purchase seller's home (for at or near asking price), let's say $600,000. The buyer then arranges for an appraisal that values the Seller's home at, say, $750,000, and then mortgages 100% of the artificially inflated "selling" price. The seller gets his $600,000 and the buyer pockets the difference. As it has been explained to me, these borrowers will either flip the properties again at another artificially inflated price, or more likely, default on all the loans, keeping the $150,000 extra they borrowed above the true cost of the home. Of course, you can multiply that figure by the many homes in our area that the perpetrators have bought. That's the gist of the scam.

It might seem that the only people being screwed by these calculated acts of fraud are the banks who are falling for them. But unfortunately, that's an underestimation of the damage this type of scheme can wreak on a neighborhood's home values.

And this is how their illicitly gained windfall can affect you and your neighbors:

Artificially high home sales are now being used as "comparables" to assess your property's value (check your home's comparables here to see if you may have already been a victim). Higher comparables mean higher taxes for all of us. Has it already happened to you?

Another way this type of scam can affect you is by increasing your homeowner's insurance premiums, which are calculated in part based on the value of our home. Your insurance company may assess the value of your home based on these fraudulent, artificially inflated home sales which may in turn artificially inflate their assessment of the value of your home.

I think most residents of the Five Towns (or all of Long Island, for that matter) would agree that we pay enough in the way of property taxes and homeowner's insurance as it is. We certainly don't need unscrupulous people who are just out to make a buck manipulating the market.

I will admit once again to basing this post almost completely on hearsay. That said, the discussion I have heard from friends, neighbors, and acquaintances on the subject of these scams has become too loud to ignore. Does anyone out there have similar concerns? Have you seen these sales on your blocks? Feel free to leave your experiences in the comment section, or email me with any stories or evidence you might have come across.


Some related links that can further explain these types of scams: I, II, III.

64 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, it's funny you're writing about this now. I was just recently hearing about these buyers and was wondering about it. I figured it to be fishy.

I think I remember that the FTJT's "Ask the Lawyer" had a column about this a little while back, where he advised against something like this.

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Boro Park and Flatbush people have been doing this for years. This is one more example about how trends start with the UO, and the MO follow ten years later.

5:55 PM  
Blogger janitor said...

Are any Hungarians invloved?

(check out new post on my blog on the true story of the Satmar Rebbe and the Holocaust).

6:15 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Not sure what's worse - this or the "own each other's houses" scam.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:55: In Flatbush & Boropark, it's individual cases (for the most part). From the rumblings that I've heard this seems to be a large-scale fraud operation, with what will probably be greater ramifications. And I don't think it's Jews (MO or OU) that are the players in this case.

7:14 PM  
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9:43 PM  
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9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While the senario you hilight is obviously illegal, there are situations where similar type deals do work legally. In the situation of a "sellers consession" the price might be increased by 6% which the seller will give back to the buyer to cover closing expenses. It is done with full knowledge of the bank and the seller. Nothing is hidden. The sales price must still fall within the area comps, and the consession cannot exceed 6% or the total closing costs whichever is less.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although odious, illegal and wrong, you benefit from it rather than lose. The rise in premiums is negligable; the rise in taxes is not immediate nor significant. How do you benefit? Since the comps are higher, your value is higher and you can borrow more money at a lesser rate of interest because of these thieves.. Where is your hakarat hatov, Orthomom?

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Concession, not consession. Learn to spell, please!

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is the rise in taxes insignificant?? I just took a look at mynassauproperty.com where they evaluate your house based on 5 comps. If one of those comps just happens to be inflated by $150,000+, the weighted average value of your home increases. Enough to be significant.

Oh, and yipee, I can borrow more money. Lemme thank these guys. Did you read the links? I didn't see anyone thanking them there.

Is Orthomom the only one looking into this issue?

9:36 AM  
Blogger keithninety said...

Sigh. I have no doubt that this is true and is pervasive in the Boro Park community.

Its such a chillul Hashem, there are no words to describe it.

We haven't learned a damn thing after 2000 years of Golus. Allegedly Torah obervant Jews are still cheating non-Jews and each other. They may know Shas but when it comes to money, there's no problem violating "Lo Tignov." These people are such phonies. Its heartbreaking.

This is why there's no Beis Hamikdash and this is why Jews always suffer destruction, generation after generation.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

The rise in premiums is negligable; the rise in taxes is not immediate nor significant. How do you benefit? Since the comps are higher, your value is higher and you can borrow more money at a lesser rate of interest because of these thieves..

Banks are not stupid. They will catch on fairly quickly and will discount fishy looking sales when assessing value. In contrast, by the time the county catches on, it will be too late.

11:01 AM  
Blogger rebba shlita said...

a recently sold my house and at the time the buyer asked to do this. but he asked for this b/c rather than take a home eq. loan. he needed as much money as he could get. needless to say i told him that its mortgage fraud and i will not agree to do it. my cousin who owns a major motg. company also informed me that the banks are really cracking down and they are catching a lot of people.
the morgage companies and mortg. agents will also be held accountable.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a terrible, terrible situation. The only thing ppl will remember are the "ultra orthodox" jews who were involved in these frauds when paraded on TV, the papers and worse, globally on the Internet. We should know better-- What a chilul hashem!

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rebba: what about the sellers? are they liable?

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Veganovich said...

--- Banks are not stupid. ---

Banks are not stupid, but like everyone else, they put their short term interests over their long term interests. Thus, in a rising real estate market, they overlook things like this. After all, if it is appraised at 750,000 when it is really worth 600,000, they do not have to worry if they expect the price to go up to 750,000 in a couple of years. However, now that the real estate bubble has burst, and the rate of foreclosures is increasing, the banks will aggressively crack down on this.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Honestly Frum said...

To the Anon who commented that it is not Jews doing this please do not fool your selves. These will once again (soon) be a picture on TV of Jews whether from BP or Lawrence) being lead away in handcuffs. Bank fraud is a federal crime and that is what this is. It has nothing to do with lower rates or "not enough proceeds to close" it is greed and a quick illegal way to once again screw the Jew into paying more in property taxes for the greed of a few and it, once again, makes us look like a group of criminals to our non Jewish neighbors. Another great Kiddush hashem for our community- we should be proud.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More taxes-Moshe and his friends would benefit in that local government would have more money for patronage.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Suddenly Concerned said...

Does anyone know of houses near them that did this?

4:17 PM  
Anonymous MOSHE RABINOWITZ said...

Hey anonymASS,
I was named after Moshe Rabaynu, the lawgiver. I live my life by the ten commandments, especially, "Thou shalt not steal." You should try the same particularly the one about bearing false witness against your neighbor. But I guess, telling lies and committing fraud are OK with you and your fellow malcontents.
Did you really think that I wouldn't find your inane comments on this page? Lies, fraud, racism and now just plain stupidity. You need help.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthomom-

You are highly overestimating the effects of such a scam. It would have to be done on such a large scale over a long period of time to really have any effect on the market.

It doesn’t sound like this scam could be done that frequently, because if someone simply defaults on their loan they would destroy their credit, and they would have difficulty repeating the scam.

Usually, "appraisal fraud" refers to the high appraisals promoted by the mortgage originators themselves. The reason for this is because defaults don’t affect the originator, only investors in the secondary market. This fraud can in fact affect the market simply because every loan originator has great incentives to do this, and can repeat this fraud over and over.

The current fraud you speak of, on the other hand, would really have no effect. It would take more than a few dozen schemy frum people to shift the appraisal level of the housing market.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh....can't wait for them to default on all of these and look for the mortgage lenders to run an auction process on 50 homes in the area within a few months....that will be really really good for property values in the area....particularly if you are looking to sell into the market. If you are a buyer and you believe or are aware the person(s) across the table are involved in such a scheme, might I suggest you consult both an attorney and a Rav....and while you are at it....maybe consult the mirror as well!

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11:34 -
Not true. First of all, I love all the people here defending obvious iliegalities by saying "everyone in Brooklyn does this" (that may be true- just a few weeks ago the newspaper named 5 frum people who were indicted for this scam. You want that happening here?), or "it doesn't really harm anyone"...it's that same mentality that fostered the surge of daf yomi shiurim in Federal prison.

Secondly,you don't need this to happen to too many houses. From what I'm understand, this already HAS been done to a decent number of houses and this will (already has begun to) affect the area. This can be done multiple times because, as the articles OM linked to say, the names on the mortgages are usually patsies who are being used for their credit.

You also mention that this fraud "doesn't affect the originator, only investors in the secondary market". Also not true. The originator is responsible for the loan if the borrower defaults- regardless who they sold the loan to.

"It would take more than a few dozen schemy frum people to shift the appraisal level of the housing market." That wasn't her only point. It WILL directly affect the taxes and other considerations of neighboring homes.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 1:36-

Youre really talking out of your ass.

"You also mention that this fraud "doesn't affect the originator, only investors in the secondary market". Also not true. The originator is responsible for the loan if the borrower defaults- regardless who they sold the loan to."

This is almost never the case (with the exception of EPDs), and demonstrates that you have absolutely no understanding of the primary or secondary mortgage markets.

"already has begun to) affect the area"

Link? Exactly which analysis tools are you using to extrapolate the source of market shifts?

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

quit fooling yourselves. If it is illegal (and certainly against halacha) it's wrong and should be reported period no matter who is involved. stop trying to explain how it's not so bad.....no hurting anyone....etc....etc...look in a mirror and stop the nonsense.

3:49 PM  
Blogger FiveTownEyes said...

I have first hand knowledge that this is happening. Those who are lis pendens - pending foreclosure, receive letters and people at their doors trying to buy the house for "all cash" - and even those with suitcases full of cash. But it really doesn't matter, because when you close the deal, that transaction has to be recorded - thereby, the "cash" is a moot subject. Then they put the house back up and flip it. For instance, a house in North Lawrence - lis pendens - was sold by a widow for $350,000 two years ago. The house was purchased by two individuals, and the house was placed in an LLC. The LLC then re-financed the house and sold it to another LLC. Again, the house was flipped at 125% financing to another LLC. These two men own all the LLC's. Now a house that is $425,000 market value has a mortgage of $675,000 and the house is in foreclosure. Each LLC owns just one house. So there are no assets. It is an old "shell game". Unfortunately, these men are Orthodox. They have been all over North Lawrence, Inwood and parts of the incorporated villages of Lawrence and Cedarhurst. They were both upstanding young men in Yeshiva (HAFTR) and have upstanding families. These are only two people I know first-hand about this. My friend is a realtor and has seen this happening all over. What a shame. Selling their souls are what they are really doing. They both live in the back of Lawrence. Thanks Orthomom for bringing this to the forefront. If anyone is having property or mortgage struggles, do NOT answer any unsolicited letters or do business with ANYONE who shows up on their doorstep.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They were both upstanding young men in Yeshiva (HAFTR) and have upstanding families.

This makes no sense. HAFTR has studenst through 12th grade. How can HAFR studenst be involved in Real Estate scams??

4:35 PM  
Anonymous This Is Bad said...

fivetowneyes: while maybe not exactly the same deal, I think this is going on all over the 5 Towns. What can we do about it??

4:45 PM  
Blogger FiveTownEyes said...

I think Fivetowneyes meant that they graduated HAFTR.

According to what I have read, I would think that I would have to watch out for unscrupulous deals - anyone approaching you, offering cash, making sure there are no "under the table deals", etc.

We only have so much control - of our lives. We must not commit ourselves to do anything unethical. If the other person wants to do something unethical, that is between them and Hashem.

I have in the back of Lawrence, across the street from these two LLC guys. They came to my house and approached my husband to enter into these "investments". They both live next door to each other. After an hour of intent listening, my husband said "no thanks" and told them to be on their ways. He said he knew from the beginning of the hour they were doing something unacceptable, but he kept listening - to understand how they did this and why they did this, so that we are never found in the same position G-d forbid if we were to have real estate woes and happen upon someone who says they can help us.

Right now, I know of a building that is $876,000 in foreclosure, when it is only assessed at $450,000. The quick "flips" caused the appraised value of the house to artificially inflate. The good thing is that foreclosed properties do not figure into our "comps" when selling, buying, or refinancing. Only those that are properly sold will comp out. But again, the artificially high prices will cause our taxes to rise as our own homes are now attached to market price.

We all should do our homework and watch what neighboring properties are purchased for. The assessor's prices (on the web) has been within $10,000 of the purchase properties I have watched so far. Those way out of line do raise a red flag with me.

There's going to be a rude awakening for many who are feeding these scams.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Fivetowneyes meant that they graduated HAFTR.


And that is relevent because. There are a lot of theives from "Yeshivish" schools. Come on people, this is not nice.

How about the fine boys from a local Yeahivish Yeshiva who stole car keys from Tallasim on Sahbbos and went joy rideing. Why not identify their educational backgrounds. No becuase it would indict your background.

The HAFTR reference was below the belt. Fivetonwseyes, Stop it.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point taken, but let's stay focused on the issue here. It has nothing to do with the schools someone went to. It happens to be a frum person representing these scammers, and thats unfortunate, but the point is that there's a scam going on and what are we going to do about it?

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then stop defamimg schools.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you know who these people are and you are confident that they are involved in illegal, illicit and anti-torah behavior why wouldn't you report them to the authorities???? Have you asked a real Tzadik as to what your responsibility is???? Remember people ARE being negatively financially affected by this and no doubt is another bizayon for all Jews regardless of what school they are from. I hope the point in naming the school and background was only to demonstrate that they are homegrown and not interlopers. IF PEOPLE KNOW WHO IS BEHIND SOME OF THESE SCHEMES IN THE AREA, ISN'T THERE A RESPONSIBILITY TO DISCLOSE IT? OR DOES THE BUSHA TO A BACK LAWRENCE FAMILY TRUMP THE NEEDS OF THOSE STRUGGLING TO KEEP UP WITH MORTGAGES AND TUITIONS, OF WHICH THERE ARE MANY MANY MANY IN THE 5T AREA?

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on we all know how it works, these scammers are giving big Tzedaka to the Rabbonim & Roshei Yeshivas. If you report them to the authorities YOU are the one who is the "oisvorf". This is why they get away with ripping off other Yidden. They know that no one will rat them out.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“quit fooling yourselves. If it is illegal (and certainly against halacha) it's wrong and should be reported period no matter who is involved. stop trying to explain how it's not so bad.....no hurting anyone....etc....etc...look in a mirror and stop the nonsense.”

We should be able to point out activities that are immoral or illegal without resorting to fear mongering and scare tactics.

Yes, it is illegal. No, it wont drive up your taxes, so lets stop pretending it will.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How could it not? When the County uses a house that is artificially valued at $200,000 more that it's really worth as a comp on you home, you're directly affected. When this happens to a number of homes in an area, everyone ends up being affected. It's not fear mongering or scare tactics. Orthomom is reporting on what we should all be aware of.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a look
http://www.flippingfrenzy.com/about_fraud/index.html

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"$200,000 more that it's really worth as a comp on you home, you're directly affected."

It would have to happen on a mass scale. This is likely when the originators are the ones promoting the high appraisals, but is more unlikely in the type of fraud OM wrote about.

Considering that you think that originators are required to repurchase defaulted mortgage loans, its quite clear that you have very little understanding of this subject.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unlike him/her, I don't claim to know the subject of defaulted loans. I do know that if your neighbor's house was involved in this fraud, your taxes will be affected- and don't tell me that "it's not immediate nor significant", the point is it will.

What I'm curious about is why you seem to be the person on this string defending or minimizing this. The fact is, it's illegal and it shouldn't continue.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous- 11:48am "It would have to happen on a mass scale. This is likely when the originators are the ones promoting the high appraisals, but is more unlikely in the type of fraud OM wrote about."


Incorrect, you could not be more wrong- mass scale fraud isn't needed to screw your neighbor!

Having your house appraised against another home with a fraudulently increased sales price of $100,000+ (usually, in Nassau Co. your home is compared against 5 comps) can increase your taxes by several hundred dollars or more, depending on where you live.

All you need is 1 out of whack comp to increase your home's assessed value and your taxes.

Perhaps you should research how Nassau Co. appraises your home.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"All you need is 1 out of whack comp to increase your home's assessed value and your taxes."


People are so caught up in their scare tactics they cant even keep their arguments straight. Remember, most of these homes will default right away causing foreclosure and lowering value. Do you really think this will cause taxes to be raised? I think the county appraisers will be well aware that the original sales price was inflated if the home quickly goes into default. They are very aware of all these schemes.

Again for those not listening, im not saying its not a crime, or isnt wrong, im simply pointing out the hysterical fear mongering going on here how this fraud is affecting the market.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"People are so caught up in their scare tactics they cant even keep their arguments straight."

Not a scare tactic, this unfortunate mess is now a reality.

It is precisely these inflated sales price homes sold in 2006 that are now reflected as comparables for the 1/1/07 assessment. This is no longer a concept in the abstract.

The County has an interest in keeping comparables high and will probably only discount an inflated sales price if they actually know that it's a fraud. Otherwise more money in their pockets.

Besides, as you may know, it takes many, many months for the foreclosure process to run its course (i.e. borrower has to default, grace period, court case, etc.). By that time, your assessment has already gone up.

Thanks for recognizing that stealing is a crime but this is a crime that affects many of us directly and financially.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Besides, as you may know, it takes many, many months for the foreclosure process to run its course (i.e. borrower has to default, grace period, court case, etc.). By that time, your assessment has already gone up."

Youre arguing that there are foreclosures yet this will ultimately cause assessments to go up. And you even worked out a possible scenario where this is possible. Do you realize how disingenuous youre being? And youre even making up rules along the way to support your argument (“they will only discount if they know for sure its fraud”). What, did you read this in their handbook? Even if it’s appraised when its not yet foreclosed, do you think that when the appraiser checks that the house, he will not consider that its abandoned, delinquent on payments, and sold at a price 15% higher than his neighbors.

Youe setting up quite an absurd scenario to support a disjointed argument.

If there is a foreclosure, that is the most recent sale and appraisal of the property that the county is basing the assessment on. In the event that the timing doesn’t work out and the county assessment misses the actual foreclosure (and all previous foreclosure notices), then it would get incorporated in the next county assessment.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whoever just left that last comment is a self-absorbed fool who is too smart for his own good. you sound like an ignorant teen arguing with his parents over something he knows is wrong and hurts others. gosh isn't playing devil's advocate fun on these blogs.....these are people lives, children, marriages being affected by this...this is not a game.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 3:41-
You're vigorous arguments (in defense?) of all this is really puzzling. Are you perhaps involved in all this?

You seem to be missing the point. Forget about timing, forget about "how much" the impact is. Stop picking one point every time to continue your defense of this scam.

Here are the facts as I see them:

* what's going on is fraud (I believe you already agreed to that).
* this scam has been going on for QUITE a while already and so far none are in foreclosure yet (that I know of).
* these 'characters' have already purchased a sizeable number of homes in the neighborhood and continue to do so.
* Tax assessments have ALREADY been affected by these homes. This already happened. People's taxes are ALREADY being assessed unfairly.

So I'm not sure what your problem is with people who are concerned and perhaps have an interest in stopping this??

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You're vigorous arguments (in defense?) of all this is really puzzling. Are you perhaps involved in all this?"

You sound stupid. Its like the guy who tells kids not to do drugs because it will cause their body parts to fall off. There are plenty of good arguments against drugs, you simply lose credibility by just making crap up.

And im quite sure you are unable to prove a single of those "facts" you made up in the above post. Especially considering both orthomon and the articles stated that most simply default on the loans.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You sound stupid", Niiiiice.

Look, you want to continue defending the scam, gezunteheit. I made valid points above and apparently you have a hand in the pot and arguing with you is pointless and silly. All I could say is, if you ARE involved, you're affecting honest, hard-working people just so that you could make a buck or two.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Take Action said...

Aside from one individual defending this scam affecting the community, I see that people are understandably concerned with what is happening and some are looking for advice on what to do about it.

IF YOU KNOW OR SUSPECT OF A NEIGHBORING HOME THAT HAS DONE THIS DEAL, OR KNOW ANYONE BEHIND THIS SCHEME, FEEL FREE TO SEND AN ANONYMOUS E-MAIL TO THE ADDRESS LISTED BELOW.

REMEMBER, PEOPLE ARE BEING NEGATIVELY FINANCIALLY AFFECTED BY THIS!!

STANFELLER@YAHOO.COM

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I made valid points above and apparently you have a hand in the pot and arguing with you is pointless and silly."

Yes, please explain further how this scam is causing foreclosures and rising taxes at the same time.

Your points were nothing more than you listing "facts" without any support. Im all ears- let me know why your facts are not consistent with the article or orthomom (re: foreclosures), or how you know that this scam has increased the taxes in your neighborhood. Did your buddy the accountant tell you this in shul?

You also seem to be having difficulty grasping the fact that just because something is bad, doesnt make it the source of all evil. Me pointing out your intellectual dishonesty in no way implies i am a criminal.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I went from 'sounding stupid' to being 'intellectually dishonest'. I'm not sure which is worse, but I'll assume it's an improvement.

Look, I'm obviously not going to convince you, so I won't waste the time. Suffice it to say, this is already impacting people and anyone reading this can just take a look at the link OM provided to check the comps on your home.

You can't argue that this is in any way good for a community. You're just twisting words and picking little pieces to fight on. It's not "the source of all evil", but it DOES need to be stopped.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the anonymous guy defending this:

I know people who own homes who have directly suffered from this. Why? The following is not theoretical.....Several homes in Hewlett on one particular block were sold to various LLCs who all had the same front man. The buyers received cash below the recorded transaction value and mortgage. With several homes on the block being sold at ridiculous levels (believe me ridiculous) you better believe that at least one of them made it into their comps for determining their taxes. Someone who 2 years ago was paying 1/2 the taxes that I was paying is now paying MORE than I am paying. You figure the base on that -- this is REAL $$$ hurting a family struggling to make ends meet. Stop lying to yourself. You know full well it's wrong from EVERY angle and IS HURTING PEOPLE! If you are not involved in the scheme, which I can't believe if you are posting here, than perhaps you were a seller or someone close to you is a seller with somewhat of a guilty conscience....YOU KNOW IT'S WRONG!!!!

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Alexander Novak said...

Dear Fellow FT Bloggers:

I think this issue is being blown WAY out of proportion. I am happy to say that my partner, Fay Stern, Esq. of Novak Juhase and Stern here in Cedarhurst does if not the most she is in the top five attorneys in the Five Towns doing house closings. We have been here for over ten years. We represent buyers sellers and banks. When I told her about this scam which we know does occur in lousy new develepoment towns outside of NYC, she said she has never seen it here. I will conceded we only represent real people who really want to buy here in the FT's and we are doing four or five a week. There may be some LLC guys but they are a far and few between. Also in her opinion houses in Brooklyn are either sold at the market price or under valued because there may be cash. High evaluaitons ($600K FMV for a $750K phoney evaluation) are very hard to get through with so many professionals who care about their reputations and licenses. High evaluaitons are easier in commercial deasl where sellers and buyers play --illegally- with rent rolls, but Fay does not believe there is any rampant or significant mortgage scaming here in the FT's.

If someone is caught I will be happy to represent them because it will be a such an open and shut case for the US Attorneys that I will not feel bad when he or she goes to jail because these are not hard cases for them to win. If you are a scammer then you are crazy and better stop now there is five year statute of limitation. But I can be reached at 516-569-3030 if you are arrested.

Alexander Novak, Esq.
Novak Juhase & Stern LLP
483 Chestnut Street
Cedarhurst NY 11516
516-569-3030

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we have just seen a new low for lawyers, advertising on Blogs!!

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Great Idea said...

I have an idea. Kill two birds with one stone: email STANFELLER@YAHOO.COM with addresses participating and he'll see to it that Mr. Novak gets some (apparently) much-needed business!!

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The following is not theoretical.....Several homes in Hewlett on one particular block were sold to various LLCs who all had the same front man. The buyers received cash below the recorded transaction value and mortgage. "

Im assuming you turned the person in. Also, if possible, please provide this criminal's name.

11:57 PM  
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5:13 AM  
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everyone is affected by this unfortunate and illegal scheme. your taxes go up because these properties are used as comparables for assessed value purposes. also, state aid to the school district (#14) has been minimal since they take into consideration the average household income (which is probably overestimated because who else can afford these overinflated houses?) which once again means that your taxes go up because less is being subsidized by the State- higher taxes mean less buyers interested in your house so the real people doing real deals can't sell at all, or need to sell at lower prices, not higher. thehigher prices are only gotten by the scammers. and, rest assured, all good things come to those who wait- its only a matter of time when the blank will hit the fan and they'll ALL go down--the brokers, the buyer and seller(if he thinks he did nothing wrong), the lawyers, and the appraisers --elliot spitzer is on the warpath for all these schemes-- titles companies, mortgage brokers, etc.-just you wait,henry higgins,just you wait

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