First-Time Buyer Tax Credit Fraud: Get $8,000, GO TO JAIL

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Sep 052009
 

The IRS is closely watching the First-Time Buyer Tax Credit program for fraud.  I’m glad they are.  I have personally heard of two situations where people have collected $8,000 under the program and they have not yet purchased homes.  In one of those instances, I was told that 3 people in one family received the credits—totalling $24,000—and they had not yet purchased a home, were planning to, and were told by their tax person that, “If you don’t buy the house by the deadline you just have to repay it.”

I can’t imagine why anyone would think a stimulus program allows receipt of the stimulus money without actually undertaking the stimulus activity: BUYING THE HOUSE!

 

Here’s an excerpt from the IRS press release and a link to the IRS site for more information:

 

“The Internal Revenue Service today announced its first successful prosecution related to fraud involving the first-time homebuyer credit and warned taxpayers to beware of this type of scheme.

On Thursday July 23, 2009, a Jacksonville, Fla.-tax preparer, James Otto Price III, pled guilty to falsely claiming the first-time homebuyer credit on a client’s federal tax return. Price faces the possibility of up to three years in jail, a fine of as much as $250,000, or both.

To date, the IRS has executed seven search warrants and currently has 24 open criminal investigations in pursuit of potential instances of fraud involving the credit. The agency has a number of sophisticated computer screening tools to quickly identify returns that may contain fraudulent claims for the first-time homebuyer credit.

‘We will vigorously pursue anyone who falsely tries to claim this or any other tax credit or deduction,’ said Eileen Mayer, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation. ‘The penalties for tax fraud are steep. Taxpayers should be wary of anyone who promises to get them a big refund.'”

IRS Warns Taxpayers To Beware Of First-Time Buyer Credit Fraud

They’re BACK. Mortgage Losers/Thieves/Lowlifes Return To the Industry

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Apr 182009
 

We’re seeing it. All those mortgage losers who put this industry and the economy in the toilet are returning to prey on consumers once again. They’re returning because opportunities abound to separate hard-working homeowners and homebuyers from their money.

We’re hearing of people getting back into the mortgage business after the long cold “winter” of 2007-2009 when business was hard to come by and only the brave and the bold stuck it out to continue hard-earned careers. These mortgage-professional-wannabees are coming back because low interest rates and a newfound sense of optimism are bringing buyers back and opening up homeowners’ minds to the idea of refinancing.

The Associated Press reported of a warning from Senator Charles Schumer about these mortgage losers. The Senator it seems is also aware of the return of these crooks looking to ripoff consumers. Read more HERE

More than ever when shopping for a mortgage the words “Buyer Beware” ring true. Look for those mortgage professionals with substantial experience and preferably those who you find through a referral from a friend or family member, or your tax professional or attorney. Searching the internet for a mortgage professional is, IMHO, a recipe for disaster. You’re likely to come across many alleged experts who only want to tell you what you want to hear just to get your business. Once they get you to the closing table, everything changes and you can watch your money evaporate from your wallet.

I’ve recently cautioned against working with non-FHA approved mortgage people. These are yet another class of mortgage lowlife who pretend they are allowed to originate FHA loans. Worse, they pretend to know “all about” FHA loans. I just spoke on the phone while writing this blog entry with a young man who told me how he encountered many such people who claimed they could approve him for an FHA loan on a Co-Op apartment purchase. He told me they all seemed very happy to want to separate him from his money for application fees and the like. He contacted me to ask about getting an FHA loan for a Co-Op. He seemed to know already that such a loan was not available, but thought it’s because FHA doesn’t insure Co-Op loans. In fact, FHA DOES indeed insure Co-Op loans (FHA is an insurance program; FHA doesn’t make the loan, they insure the Lender’s loan in the event of foreclosure). I explained this fact to him. The problem with FHA and Co-Op loans is there are no Lenders who provide such financing.

No conversation about mortgage lowlifes would be complete without a mention of those poor homeowners trying to do a loan modification. As I mentioned recently, there are many scams out there with alleged “loan modification experts” very willing to take thousands of dollars in fees from distressed homeowners while providing absolutely nothing in return: no modification, no saving of the house, nothing, nada, zilch. Many of these crooks are, in my opinion, former mortgage losers who have changed their crime tactics from putting unsuspecting people into terrible sub-prime loans. Now they seek to steal your money—and your home—by pretending to counsel you on modifying your loan. BUYER BEWARE.

If you truly feel you wish to modify your loan contact an attorney. Or do it yourself.

On a sidenote, I attended a job fair yesterday seeking to recruit salespeople for the company where I work. I met the recruiters from the FBI and asked them to please, “…hire more people today and arrest more mortgage brokers.” They laughed and asked what I do. “I’m a mortgage broker!” I replied. “Please, I’m serious,” I continued, “these people have destroyed my industry, please hire some good people today and go out and arrest more mortgage brokers.”

Postscript: To the young man who called for advice on FHA and the Co-Op loan: Thank you for your kind compliment about tcurranmortgage.com and thank you for stopping by to read my rantings!!!


I welcome Comments for all my blog entries. I will be happy to review and approve all legitimate comments provided by readers of tcurranmortgage.com. I do not permit unfettered access to comments for obvious reasons: mortgage spammers and their ilk. If you wish to Comment on any entry, please do so and I will quickly review and approve. Thanks for reading tcurranmortgage.com. Hope that helps!

Erica’s Mom is Harrassing Her to Buy A House!

 First Time Homebuyers  Comments Off on Erica’s Mom is Harrassing Her to Buy A House!
Apr 142009
 

I met with Erica this evening to prequalify her for a mortgage for a 2 family house she wants to buy in the Bronx. I gave my usual “tcurranmortgage” mini-homebuyer-seminar, not knowing when to shut up and stop talking (that’s why Gary set up this blog when he built my website four years ago; he knows me too well!) as usual.

Near to the end of our visit, I mentioned to Erica that Uncle Sam was going to send her a check for $8,000 for buying her first home this year. Erica responded by telling us, “Yes, I know. My Mom is harrassing me to buy a house. She keeps telling me I have to get this $8,000 and I have to close this year!”

WOW.

YAY to Erica’s Mom! YAY to President Obama and his 2009 Stimulus Package and the $8,000 Refundable Tax Credit!

Just FYI: the tax credit is a truly refundable credit of either $8,000 or 10% of the purchase price of the house (whichever is lower; in NY, that’s going to be the 8k!!!). You don’t have to wait until 2010 to get the cash in your wallet. You can file an amendment to your 2008 tax return and get the money this year. There are restrictions, so be sure to check out the IRS website HERE to verify. You can even download the appropriate filing schedule to bring to your tax professional to file the amendment. Get to it so you can heed Erica’s Mom’s haranguing: GO GET THE MONEY!!!

Thanks Erica for the inspiration for tonight’s blog.