Mortgage fraud in Charlottesville?

I know, I know – it’s a relatively provocative headline, but I found the coincidence between these two headlines too much not to post.

From the WSJ (Free link):

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Federal and state authorities are investigating allegations of an elaborate mortgage fraud involving about 100 people living in or near this small factory town who say they unwittingly took out loans to buy houses at inflated prices in Indiana.

And from Charlottesville’s Craigslist:

* Buy with an educated club of investors and avoid shady developers.
* Purchase real estate property at a fraction of the said price using bulk discounts.
* Contractually bar the developer from allotting your deposit to construction costs.

I’m not saying (nor trying to imply/infer/whatever) that this “club” is a fraud. But beware of things that seem too good to be true. Real estate is always risky. Do your due diligence.

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