Media Appearance: KSTP News on Mortgage Fraud

by Alex Stenback on December 10, 2007

At 1PM today, a press conference will be held to announce criminal charges against two suspects in yet another mortgage fraud ring in the Twin Cities.  The suspects, Donald L. Walthall,  40, of Anoka, and Rahmeen D. Underwood,  30, of Minnetonka, both of Universal Mortgage Inc. (which you might remember from this Story) were arrested Friday.  From the Strib:

…[I]n what has become a widening mortgage fraud investigation involving hundreds of properties…[R]ecords showed that Universal has been at the center of a web of transactions where a small group of investors, including several Universal employees, bought rental properties and quickly resold many at above-market prices.

We’ll be sitting down with KSTP’s Bob McNaney after the presser to discuss the impact of this latest round of mortgage fraud charges, how it may impact you, and how you can avoid getting caught up in one of these scams.  We expect the piece to air at 5PM 6PM on KSTP, but will update here if this changes. 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

John Hoff December 10, 2007 at 1:35 pm

My big question: could this impact title and the ability to get title insurance? I mean, if a known scammer owned the house and pulled off scams through that act of ownership, how does a buyer know there isn’t other title floating around out there that will surface and make life messy?

Title insurance is like auto insurance: it’s nice to know you have it, but who wants to actually find themselves using it?

Editor/Alex December 10, 2007 at 2:49 pm

Probably too early to tell whether we’ll see any pull-back in the availability of title insurance, though we have heard that title insurance claims are up. Our guess is that title insurance rates may get more expensive.

Actually, title insurance isn’t much like auto insurance at all. There are no monthly premiums, and it is insurance against something that has, or may have, already happened (just not discovered via a title examination.)

Most homeowners don’t care if they have to use title insurance – it is a one time premium, paid at closing, so it’s not like their rates are raised after a claim. Title problems can be a messy PITA, but there is zero hesitation to “use” that insurance should a claim come up.

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